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Why Dave Bautista Will Stop Playing Drax After This Movie

"Guardians of the Galaxy" was a massive hit when "Vol. 1" hit the big screen in 2014. Fans immediately fell in love with Star-Lord and his ragtag group of friends, and Marvel enthusiasts were thrilled by this creative and boundary-pushing addition to the beloved cinematic universe.  Earning over $770 million at the box office, the first "Guardians" was a certified hit. In 2017, the release of "Vol. 2" was met with equal fanfare and even more success, with a box office gross of over $863 million (and a frenzy over the incredibly adorable Baby Groot).

The Guardians themselves reprised their roles in "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame," fully bringing the space heroes into the MCU fold. Now, eager fans will get to see the gang again in "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3," set to hit theaters on May 5, 2023. However, this may be the last time fans will watch Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket, Nebula, Mantis, and Drax together.

In a new interview, Dave Bautista, the talented actor behind Drax, shared his thoughts on the future of the series, and why "Vol. 3" will be his last time appearing as the hero.

"That's probably going to be the end of Drax"

In a new interview with Digital Spy, Dave Bautista shared that he doesn't imagine his character going forward after "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3." The actor explained that there were some talks about a Drax and Mantis film, an idea brought to the table by "Guardians" director James Gunn. Bautista thought the idea was "brilliant," but Marvel didn't seem interested. Bautista further commented on how he doesn't see Drax moving forward, saying "I mean, as far as my obligations, I've got "Guardians 3," and that's probably going to be the end of Drax."

Fans, understandably, were upset by the news. Bautista took to his Twitter to respond, saying, "Drax isn't going anywhere. He just won't be played by this dude!...by the time G3 comes out I'll be 54 yrs old for gods sake!...im expecting everything to start sagging any second now." Bautista, a former WWE star, certainly has the physique to play someone called "The Destroyer." However, appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the actor elaborated on how he's aging out of the role, saying, "The shirtless thing is getting harder and harder" (transcribed via Screen Rant).

According to Gunn, though, Bautista is the only actor he could see in the role. "There's no Drax for me without you, buddy!," Gunn replied to Bautista on Twitter. "You ARE the MCU's Drax the Destroyer and, as far as I'm concerned, could never be replaced."

Bautista wants to move on to other acting roles

Apart from the physical demands of playing Drax, Dave Bautista is also eager to pursue further acting roles outside of the MCU. In his interview with Digital Spy, Bautista revealed James Gunn wrote a role for him in "The Suicide Squad." Gunn moved on to direct the DC film after he was fired by Marvel due to past tweets joking about sexual abuse. Bautista was a staunch defender of the director and vocally shared his anger with Marvel over the choice.  

The studio eventually reversed their decision, bringing Gunn back to direct "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3." The director shared that will be the last of the franchise, tweeting, "...Never say never but I see Vol 3 as the end of the Guardians' story I started telling back with Vol 1."

While Bautista was certainly keen to work with his friend in "The Suicide Squad," he ultimately turned down the role to star in "Army of the Dead," saying it "was not only a lead role" but that he also "really wanted to work with Zack Snyder." Bautista also added that working on "Army of the Dead" was a strategic career move, saying he wanted to build a relationship with streaming giant Netflix to "let them know that I'd be worth their time." 

Bautista's career is really ramping up

Apart from "Army of the Dead," Dave Bautista has two more high profile film roles coming up, proving big things are coming for the star. 

Later this year, fans will see him in the latest film adaptation of science fiction classic "Dune," starring alongside the likes of Zendaya, Timothée Chalamet, and fellow MCU alum Josh Brolin. He's also set to star 2022's hotly anticipated "Knives Out 2," a film that continues to add big names to its roster, including two more MCU stars, Kathryn Hahn and Edward Norton, along with Daniel Craig reprising his beloved role as Detective Benoit Blanc. 

Bautista has certainly made a name for himself outside his successful wrestling career, and we're thrilled "Guardians" has given him the platform to pursue even more exciting film roles. Nonetheless, we'll always love him as Drax, the alien destroyer with a heart of gold and a very joyous laugh.