Dave Bautista joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a relatively inexperienced actor fresh off a pro wrestling career, but now after appearing as Drax the Destroyer in several films, the much more polished star says the end of his MCU road is coming soon.
Bautista, 52, recently told Digital Spy magazine that he doesn’t believe there’s a future for Drax after the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
“I mean, as far as my obligations, I’ve got Guardians 3, and that’s probably going to be the end of Drax,” Bautista said.
Drax was first introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel, and he has also made appearances in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. In addition to the third Guardians film and the superhero team’s Holiday Special, Drax is also set to appear in Thor: Love and Thunder in February 2022. So that still leaves plenty of Drax stories to tell.
Still, Bautista lamented that Marvel “dropped the ball” by never digging deeper into Drax. He revealed that Guardians director James Gunn even pitched a movie featuring Drax and Mantis, but Marvel Studios didn’t run with the idea.
Dave Bautista’s Exit Would Be the End for Drax
After the comments to Digital Spy fueled speculation that Drax would be killed off in Guardians 3, Bautista pushed back by suggesting the role could be recast.
That’d be a rare move for Marvel Studios, but it has happened before. Early in the MCU’s history, Don Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard as James Rhodes and Mark Ruffalo took over for Edward Norton as Bruce Banner. More recently, Kathryn Newton was picked to take over the role of Cassie Lang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Casting a new actor to take over for Bautista wouldn’t be unprecedented, but Gunn said in a tweet that it’s not happening.
So that doesn’t leave much wiggle room. It seems the end is nigh for Drax.
Will ‘Guardians’ Continue Without Drax?
There is no shortage of projects in the works at Marvel Studios, so it’s entirely possible that the third Guardians movie will be the last. But if the team pushes forward with a fourth film, a team that doesn’t include Drax is perfectly feasible.
In the comics — just like every other superhero team — the roster of Guardians of the Galaxy members has changed a lot over the years. The mainstream version of the team, which was first introduced in 2008, consisted of Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Adam Warlock, and Quasar. In later issues, Groot, Mantis, Major Victory, Bug, Jack Flag, Cosmo the Spacedog, and Moondragon all joined the squad.
In the MCU, the original team was Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot. It has since added Mantis to the mix, and Thor seemed to join the crew too at the end of Avengers: Endgame.
If Drax was to leave the team, there are plenty of options to replace him, if one is even necessary. That’s especially true as it appears Adam Warlock is heading into the MCU soon. Ayesha, the leader of the golden race of people known as the Sovereign, says in a post-credits scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that she has created the “next step in their evolution” as a way to destroy the Guardians. “I think I shall call him Adam,” Ayesha says as the scene ends.
Gunn has said he “absolutely” intends on Ayesha making her return in Vol. 3, so the arrival of Adam Warlock feels inevitable. While Ayesha clearly hopes Warlock will destroy the Guardians of the Galaxy, a team up seems more likely given he’s an original member of the modern version of the comic book team.
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