Dave Bautista has reiterated his belief that his upcoming appearance as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be his final showing as the character. Drax was Bautista‘s breakout role, showcasing his remarkable deadpan comic delivery which contrasted nicely with his hulking physique – something he contends is now becoming too difficult to maintain as he ages.
He has appeared a total of six times as Drax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but is now calling time on the role. In a profile with GQ, the actor cites his desire to escape the makeup process and focus on doing more dramatic roles in the future, stating that he loves Drax but does not want to be defined by him:
I’m so grateful for Drax. I love him. But there’s a relief [that it’s over]. It wasn’t all pleasant. It was hard playing that role. The makeup process was beating me down. And I just don’t know if I want Draw to be my legacy – it’s a silly performance, and I want to do more dramatic stuff.
Bautista had previous spoken on a number of occasions about his age beginning to catch up with him, combined with the painfully tedious makeup process required for the character. To that end, the actor requested he wear a shirt for his appearance on the Disney World roller coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, at EPCOT, which was noted by fans at the time. This theory was further supported by Drax wearing a shirt through the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and even in the trailer for Volume 3:
“I’m going to be 54 years old by the time Guardians 3 comes out, and the shirtless thing is getting harder and harder for me… the journey has come full circle and I’m just ready to kind of step aside and wrap it up.”
Bautista also took to Twitter to address reports of his potential departure back in 2021, confirming that he was intending on leaving the character behind for someone new to take over.
Bautista‘s desire to take on more dramatic roles makes sense. Frequently cited as the best professional wrestler-turned-actor – a career path attempted by many without success – he has managed to land critically acclaimed roles in films like Dune, Blade Runner 2049, Hotel Artemis and SPECTRE. He officially retired from professional wrestling following a match at WrestleMania 35, bringing an end to a 20 year career.
Bautista can currently be seen in Rian Johnson‘s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, which is streaming on Netflix.