Dave Bautista is best known for playing Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, and it's been made clear time and time again that director James Gunn loves working with the wrestler-turned-actor. In fact, Gunn wanted Bautista to join him in his recent move from Marvel to DC with the upcoming The Suicide Squad. However, Bautista recently explained to Entertainment Weekly that he exited the DC project in order to play the lead in Zack Snyder's upcoming zombie movie, Army of the Dead.
"I said I wasn't interested," Bautista explained. "I had this chip on my shoulder and was looking for juicy [dramatic roles]. Then I read the script and it was a lot deeper and had more layers than I thought. And also, to be quite frank, I wanted to work with Zack."
Not only did Bautista change his mind, but he gave up a part in The Suicide Squad for the role. However, there's clearly no hard feelings between Gunn and Bautista considering the director frequently sings his praises on social media.
"Dave Bautista takes the craft seriously. He's grounded in real emotion & not showy. The difference between Dave & many wrestler-actors is when you look in his eyes on set he's in the place he's supposed to be, not thinking about what he's going to do next," Gunn recently tweeted.
"It is a full-blown, balls-to-the-wall zombie heist movie, so it's genre-on-genre in a great way," Snyder recently told Entertainment Weekly when speaking about Army of the Dead. "So you expect pure zombie mayhem, and you get that, 100 percent. But also you get these really amazing characters on a fantastic journey. It's going to surprise people that there's a lot of warmth and real emotion with these great characters."
"With Dawn, we made a zombie movie but tried to do it all the way with all of those tropes of the genre," the director added. "That was so fun, so I started to think of what were other genres that story didn't have room for. It's this tone where you have fun with the genre but you don't make fun of the genre — it's a fine line."
Army of the Dead's ensemble cast includes Dave Bautista (Stuber, Guardians of the Galaxy), Ella Purnell (Sweetbitter, Kick-Ass 2), Omari Hardwick (Power, Kick-Ass), Theo Rossi (Luke Cage), Ana De La Reguera (Cowboys and Aliens, Narcos), Huma Qureshi (Viceroy's House, Gangs of Wasseypur), Hiroyuki Sanada (Avengers: Endgame, Westworld), Garret Dillahunt (Fear the Walking Dead, Deadwood), Raúl Castillo (Seven Seconds, Looking), Nora Arnezeder (Mozart in the Jungle, Origin), Matthias Schweighöfer (You Are Wanted, The Most Beautiful Day), Samantha Win (Arrow, Wonder Woman) and Rich Cetrone (300, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice).
Army of the Dead is expected to be released sometime this year.