Marvel Didn’t Want Bautista – Or Any Wrestlers – Auditioning for Guardians of the


Dave Bautista explains that Marvel Studios didn’t consider him or any professional wrestlers for the role of Drax the Destroyer at first.

Dave Bautista almost didn’t get the role of Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy.

In the book, The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, authors Tara Bennett and Paul Terry write that Marvel Studios needed a muscular hulk with good comedic timing to play Drax. While holding auditions, though the studio cast a relatively wide net, professional wrestlers were not being considered at all. According to Bautista, a former WWE wrestler, he had a hard time even getting a meeting. “At first I thought, ‘Maybe there’s a misunderstanding.’ But no, I was told this, [that pro wrestlers are not being considered],” he said.


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However, when casting director Sarah Finn finally gave him a chance to audition, Bautista initially struggled with Drax’s scenes. “I just couldn’t make heads or tails out of them. I didn’t understand Drax at all,” he said. “I called my acting coach, who is the biggest comic book geek ever, and he flipped out.” After researching the character, at the behest of his acting coach, Bautista was able to figure out how to construct his portrayal of Drax.

“There were so many different versions of Drax throughout the years,” Bautista said. “But there was one artist’s rendering of Drax that just resonated with me for some reason. He looked big and menacing, so I was like, ‘I get that. I know that guy.’ I called my coach back, and then he explained Drax. He found the humor in the dialogue that I didn’t find at all.”

Bautista went on to portray Drax in four MCU films, starting with 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and appearing again in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Since landing the role, Bautista has been open about his disappointment and frustration in Marvel’s “mishandling” of Drax the Destroyer. “I really wished they would have invested more in Drax, personally,” Bautista said in a past interview.

RELATED: Why Dave Bautista is Looking Forward to Leaving Drax and the MCU Behind

The actor announced in May 2021 that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will likely be his last appearance as Drax, though it won’t be the last time the character appears in the MCU. Bautista will reprise his role as Drax the Destroyer in two more films. The first will be Thor: Love and Thunder, which is directed by Taika Waititi and set to premiere in theaters May 6, 2022. His final MCU appearance will be in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, written and directed by James Gunn, which is set to hit theaters on May 5, 2023.

The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is comprised of over 500 pages across two volumes of interviews with executives, cast and crew from all corners of what has become the highest-grossing movie franchise of all time. Along with the change to Peter’s character, the new book reveals that Mark Ruffalo was initially cast as Bruce Banner/Hulk before Edward Norton beat him out. Of course, Ruffalo would later replace Norton with his appearance in Whedon’s The Avengers. In that vein, the book also revealed that Zooey Deschanel almost played the Wasp in the 2012 film, who would have played a major role as part of the superhero team.

KEEP READING: Dave Bautista Says Marvel Never Asked Him to Voice Drax for What If…?

Source: The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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