Parks and Recreation actor Chris Pratt is preparing to star in the new Marvel superhero movie Guardians of the Galaxy, and last week, he tweeted this photo of his absurdly muscular new superhero body after six months of working out and not drinking beer. TV Guide asked Parks and Rec showrunner/co-creator Mike Schur how they’re going to explain why Pratt looks this way in the new season, and he said they might not even address it.
“I was as shocked as everybody,” Schur says. “I obviously knew he was getting in crazy good shape for this movie. He had already started by the time we wrapped last year. We’d been through this once before when he did Zero Dark Thirty, but not like he is now. That picture was insane.”
That’s not the only thing the new season will have to explain. Chris Pratt will be missing a handful of episodes in the first half of Parks and Rec’s new season due to filming Guardians, but he’ll be back after that. Schur told Splitsider in May, “We’re gonna have to explain his absence for a few episodes, but hopefully, it won’t be that disruptive.” Schur jokes to TV Guide, “The only possible explanation for why someone looks that good is that they’re planning to play a superhero in a summer blockbuster. There is a joke that I wrote in the premiere that I think we’ll probably shoot that is a little tiny acknowledgement or nod to the fact that he looks very different to the way he normally looks. I don’t think beyond a little joke about it that we’ll end up doing anything significant. We’re not going to suddenly say that Andy became a fitness nut because that doesn’t ring true.”
He adds, “If [Pratt’s character’s FBI alter ego] Burt Macklin were a real person, that’s probably what he’d look like. Maybe we’ll do a Fight Club thing where some of the scenes will be Andy looking like he normally does and some of the scenes will be Burt Macklin looking like he currently does.” Even though Schur was just joking, that idea actually sounds pretty awesome.