Last month, it appeared that Conan remake star Jason Momoa had won over Marvel executives to score the role of hulking warrior Drax The Destroyer in the company’s far-out space tale Guardians Of The Galaxy. But that remained rumour, and indeed someone else has been signed for the role, with former wrestler Dave Bautista taking on Drax instead.
Bautista, who got his start in entertainment via the WWF/WWE, has been slowly inching his way into film and TV with such projects as House Of The Rising Son, The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption, last year’s The Man With The Iron Fists and, more unexpectedly, Werner Herzog’s My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done.
Guardians promises to be his highest profile role yet, one he won despite competition from Momoa, Isaiah Mustafa and Patrick Wade.
The character (who also goes by the slightly less superheroic name Arthur Douglas) began life as a human whose family was attacked and killed by Thanos (the purple villain introduced at the end of Avengers Assemble). He’s given a second chance at life by Kronos, who puts his spirit into the powerful new Drax body, designed to take on Thanos. He then joined the Guardians in their battle against the evil being.
Director James Gunn already has Chris Pratt signed up as Guardian leader Star-Lord, and we expect a flood of casting to start soon as Gunn kicks off shooting this year for an August 1, 2014 release. Bautista will also be seen as a space-borne tough guy in Riddick opposite Vin Diesel. That’s set for September 6 in the States, but there’s no UK release date just yet.