Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista's respect and admiration for director James Gunn is no secret, but the actor has now revealed that the chance to lead the Army of the Dead was just too enticing, and ultimately led him to walk away from Gunn's next foray into comic book movies, The Suicide Squad. While Bautista was not initailly interested in taking on a role in Army of the Dead, a quick look at the script and the opportunity to work with Man of Steel director Zack Snyder quickly convinced him otherwise.

"I said I wasn't interested. I had this chip on my shoulder and was looking for juicy [dramatic roles]. Then I read the script and it was a lot deeper and had more layers than I thought. And also, to be quite frank, I wanted to work with Zack."
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Not only did Bautista change his mind regarding Army of the Dead, but he walked away from a part in The Suicide Squad in order to join Snyder's ensemble cast. Clearly there is no hard feelings between Bautista, who plays Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, and Gunn though, with the director having recently taken to social media to heap praise on his acting ability. "Dave Bautista takes the craft seriously. He's grounded in real emotion & not showy. The difference between Dave & many wrestler-actors is when you look in his eyes on set he's in the place he's supposed to be, not thinking about what he's going to do next," Gunn said.

Army of the Dead stars Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Ella Purnell (Kick-Ass 2), Omari Hardwick (Kick-Ass), Theo Rossi (Luke Cage), Ana De La Reguera (Narcos), Huma Qureshi (Gangs of Wasseypur), Hiroyuki Sanada (Avengers: Endgame), Garret Dillahunt (Fear the Walking Dead), Raúl Castillo (Looking), Nora Arnezeder (Mozart in the Jungle), Matthias Schweighöfer (The Most Beautiful Day), Samantha Win (Wonder Woman) and Rich Cetrone (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice).

The movie follows a group of mercenaries who carry out a heist on a Las Vegas casino during a zombie outbreak. "It is a full-blown, balls-to-the-wall zombie heist movie, so it's genre-on-genre in a great way," says Snyder of the upcoming Netflix project. "So you expect pure zombie mayhem, and you get that, 100 percent. But also you get these really amazing characters on a fantastic journey. It's going to surprise people that there's a lot of warmth and real emotion with these great characters."

As for James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, the movie has managed to amass a stellar ensemble cast even without Dave Bautista's involvement. Several familiar faces are due to return, including Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag and Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, all of whom will reprise their respective roles from 2016's Suicide Squad. Alongside them will be a lot of new faces, with the rest of the team made up of Idris Elba as Bloodsport, John Cena as Peacemaker, David Mastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher, Flula Borg as Javelin, Nathan Fillion as T.D.K., Peter Capaldi as Thinker, Pete Davidson as Black Guard, Alice Braga as Sol Soria, Sean Gunn as Weasel, Michael Rooker as Savant, Mayling Ng as Mongal, and Steve Agee as King Shark.

Army of the Dead is scheduled to premiere on Netflix later this year, with The Suicide Squad due to be released in the United States on August 6, 2021. This comes to us from Entertainment Weekly.