Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be the final installment of the series, this according to franchise star Dave Bautista. For several years, Bautista has been playing the role of Drax the Destroyer, ever since making his debut in the first Guardians of the Galaxy that was released in 2014. Production on the third and what is apparently the final movie of the series will begin later this year.

Previously, director James Gunn has inferred that he'll be finishing up his time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the release of the third Guardians movie in 2023. It's always possible another sequel could be made with another filmmaker at the helm, even if that doesn't seem likely. Now, Dave Bautista is backing up Gunn's comments that it's the end of the line with part three, confirming that it's curtains for Guardians of the Galaxy once Vol. 3 is released. As the actor tells ComicBook.com:

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"It's our third film. We're going to wrap it up. And it's been a hell of a journey with a few bumps. So I'm looking forward to this, man. My cast and obviously the director, James Gunn, they're like family to me. This is kind of where my journey started. It's come full circle and I'm looking forward to wrapping it up. And it's a bittersweet... I mean, I've been doing Guardians since 2013. And, you know, when this comes out, you know, it'll be in 2023, so that's a, you know, 10 year journey. You know, all things must end. And, you know, I'm looking forward to kind of wrapping this up with my friends and family."

The MCU will certainly go on after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is out, meaning the door is open for Drax to be seen in other projects. This does not seem to be the case, as Bautista was already thinking about hanging it up after he's done with this next movie. Back in May, the actor opened up on The Ellen Show, explaining that the physical demands that came with playing Drax are just getting more and more difficult with each passing year.

"We work in trilogies and James Gunn has already announced that it's his last film, and when James is done I'm done," Bautista said. "And I'm also going to be 54 years old by the time Guardians 3 comes out and just, like, the shirtless thing is getting harder and harder for me. The journey has come full circle, and I'm ready to just kind of step aside and wrap it up."

Fortunately, Gunn is going to be providing some bonus content for fans before Guardians 3 wraps up the series. He will also write and direct The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, featuring Bautista and the rest of the cast of the movies. That is set to be released in 2022, presumably just in time for the holiday season. Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to be released on May 5, 2023, which marks Bautista's final appearance as Drax as well. This news comes to us from ComicBook.com.