Chris Pratt's Peter Quill has certainly had quite a series of adventures in the MCU thus far. From teaming up with a ragtag group of alien criminals in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy to deepening his relationships with his friends and confronting his malevolent father in the 2017 sequel. After two pitstops for the character in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Quill will next be seen palling around with the God of Thunder himself in Thor: Love and Thunder, out in July. The Guardians then make one final detour in their own Holiday Special before launching into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the final outing for the team.
Throughout all these trials and tribulations, and the character being handled by different writers and directors, Quill's characterization has remained consistent. He's a slightly-airheaded, wannabe hotshot who often flies by the seat of his pants but has a strong sense of what's right and what's wrong. This strong character work is mostly due to director James Gunn defining the character so concrete in the first Guardians movie and also from Pratt's charismatic portrayal of him.
As mentioned above, Peter Quill next crops up in Thor: Love and Thunder, the fourth Thor film. Given that the movie is directed not by Gunn but by Taika Waititi, Chris Pratt was sure to make the distinction about Quill's portrayal between movies
Thor: Love and Thunder vs. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Speaking to Gizmodo, Star-Lord actor Chris Pratt had this to say on how his character has developed throughout his time in the MCU, indicating that, as an actor, he is often "let loose" when director James Gunn isn't at the helm:
“Well, you know, there’s James Gunn’s Peter Quill and then there’s the Peter Quill that has existed outside of James Gunn, which is in cameos in The Avengers and now the cameos in Thor. And so truly the Peter Quill that I do when James is in charge is an extension of him. And the Peter Quill that I do when it’s not him in charge is really kind of me let loose to do a little bit more than probably he would want me to do, in some way. So I guess the difference would be that."
Pratt elaborated further whilst teasing the "transition" into what could very well be his final Marvel
“James Gunn has a [focus] for Quill that isn’t on for Thor or for Avengers, and so we’ll see how that plays out when it comes out. I mean, we’re obviously dealing with the end of Avengers and where that left the Guardians of the Galaxy with Thor [Love and Thunder]. We’ll see how that sort of transition works to set up [Guardians of the Galaxy] Vol. 3.”
Peter Quill is Safe in Pratt and Gunn's Hands
Chris Pratt has been playing the role of Peter Quill in the MCU for just shy of a decade. Thus far, the character has appeared four times in live-action, with three more appearances and one theme park attraction on the way. Obviously, having helped shape the Guardians of the Galaxy for the MCU, James Gunn very understandably takes ownership over this motley crew of outer space criminals-turned-heroes, so it should come as no surprise that Pratt, as an actor, feels a twinge of detachment when Quill is in the hands of another director.
However, it should all work out for the best. It's presently unknown how big a role Quill and the Guardians will play in Love and Thunder and it's perhaps unlikely that the film will serve to move their stories along to any great extent. It's not their movie, after all.
Much has been said about Vol. 3 being the swan song for the Guardians of the Galaxy, with Gunn definitively saying its his last film in the series and the end of the team as fans know it. Whatever ends up happening to Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Mantis, and Nebula in the threequel, hopefully it will be a satisfying capper to a fan-favorite franchise.
Marvel Studios' Thor: Love and Thunder will hit theaters on July 8 while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will drop in on May 5, 2023. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is also, naturally, expected in December.