Professional wrestler turned actor Dave Bautista ignited his acting career in Guardians of the Galaxy as lovable but very literal Drax the Destroyer. Since then, he's appeared in countless Marvel movies and even branched out to blockbusters like Army of the Dead, Knives Out 2, and Dune.
Dave Bautista has threatened to leave 'Guardians of the Galaxy' before, when James Gunn was temporarily fired.
The first time Dave Bautista discussed leaving Guardians of the Galaxy was in 2018, when director James Gunn's bad faith tweets resurfaced, leading to Disney firing him from Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Dave took to Twitter to defend James, writing, "@JamesGunn is one of the most loving, caring, good-natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. I'm NOT ok with what’s happening to him."
Dave more recently told AsiaOne: "I wasn't okay with it because he was being wrongfully attacked. And so I didn't have an issue with us (the Guardians cast) standing up for him because it's something I would always do. It's something I've always done all my life. What kind of friend are you if you're not defending your friends who are under attack? And the answer is, you're not a friend."
Now, Dave has confirmed that he is leaving Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy after Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Guardians 3 should start filming upon the wrap of Thor: Love and Thunder, in which Dave is also co-starring. With James Gunn reinstated to the Guardians franchise, the reason that Dave intends to leave is much different.
So, why is Dave Bautista exiting Marvel?
James Gunn has previously stated that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will be his last film in the franchise, and his exit made an impact on Dave deciding to continue in his role the first time. Aside from this, Dave told Ellen that the reason he would be stepping away from Guardians of the Galaxy was for body image reasons.
Dave explained, "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."
He also added that he was surprised by the reaction to his announcement, saying, "I figured everybody assumed that this is how this works. We work in trilogies, and James Gunn has already announced that it's his last film, and when James is done, I'm done."
Fans have already begun speculating whether or not Drax's role will be recast in future Guardians movies or if they'll continue without him. Hopefully, no matter what, the Guardian's characters get to fly off into space happily rather than be rebooted or re-written. Until then, fans will have to wait and see!
Guardians of the Galaxy is available for streaming on DisneyPlus.