WWE star Dave Bautista has carved out a very successful career now on the big screen, and proven himself to be a very talented character actor. One of his most popular roles is that of the deadpan warrior, Drax, in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. Well, it may surprise you to learn that if Marvel Studios and Disney had had their way, Bautista might never have won the role. According to director James Gunn, he had to fight for Bautista to be cast as Drax, but it was well worth it.
"I had to fight for him - and it was the most worthy fight I've ever fought. Love and miss you @DaveBautista."
Many could not believe that off the back of 2012's hugely successful The Avengers that Marvel was going to put together a superhero team that consisted of a sentient tree and a talking raccoon. In the lead up to Guardians of the Galaxy, the movie industry was gearing up for the comic book outing to be the first financial flop for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so bizarre was the idea at the time.
At the time, the movie was largely unknown, and with an untested leading man in Chris Pratt and a relatively unknown director in James Gunn, as well as stars Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper only providing their voices, it is likely that the studio was looking for a big name, and a familiar face, to play Drax.
Jason Momoa came very close to winning the role of Drax, and for a long time, it really looked like the part was his. Despite this, James Gunn stood his ground, fighting for Dave Bautista to get the part and join his Guardians. By 2014, Bautista had appeared in movies like Riddick and The Man with the Iron Fists, but he was far from a household name, and relatively unknown outside of wrestling fan circles. Of course, the casting choice turned out to be a brilliant one, with Bautista's brute physicality lending itself perfectly to the action sequences, whilst his natural affinity for deadpan comedy made him unique among the colorful cast of characters, even holding his own against experienced comedian Chris Pratt. James Gunn clearly knows exactly what he's doing.
The movie went on to earn an astounding $772 million worldwide, hugely surpassing expectations and continuing the MCU on the trajectory it remains on today, with the sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 making even more money than its predecessor. A huge part of the franchise's success comes down the chemistry of the central cast, and it is now very hard to imagine any other actors making it work as well as it does.
Drax and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy were last seen in Avengers: Endgame, and are expected to appear in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, with rumors about we will also see them in Thor: Love and Thunder. Meanwhile, Bautista's work as Drax has led to him becoming a legitimate movie star, with supporting turns in Blade Runner 2049 and Spectre, as well as leading roles in films such as Stuber, My Spy he will soon be appearing in Zack Snyder's upcoming Netflix film, Army of the Dead as well as director Denis Villeneuve highly anticipated adaptation of Dune. This comes to us from James Gunn's official Twitter account.