Dave Bautista Praises Thor: Love and Thunder Director Taika Waititi But Can't Confirm Drax's Return

Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista can "neither confirm nor deny" Drax returns in Thor: Love and Thunder, but the Marvel star says he would take any opportunity to reunite with director Taika Waititi — no matter how small the role. Waititi directed Bautista in a Season 1 episode of supernatural comedy What We Do in the Shadows — where the Avengers and Army of the Dead star played vampire Garrett in "The Trial" — and if Drax really is among the Guardians reuniting with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in Waititi's followup to Thor: Ragnarok, Bautista says no effort was too big for a guest-starring role:

"Well, assuming that I went to Australia to shoot for Thor 4," Bautista told THR with a laugh when asked if Waititi created more material for the Guardians crew to make their trip to Australia more worthwhile during the pandemic. "I know that Chris Pratt has announced that he's in Thor 4, but I haven't heard from anybody at Marvel or Disney where it would be OK for me to say that I was in Thor 4. So I will neither confirm nor deny. (Laughs.) But having said that, I've worked with Taika before, and so I know Taika's process."

The Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Jojo Rabbit filmmaker's process is "whatever's written on page, there's going to be a dozen more opportunities for you to shine because he's an improvisational-type actor and he's an improvisational-type director," Bautista explained. "So yes, if you have an opportunity to work with Taika Waititi, don't even be concerned about how small the role is because if you get there and start killing it, he's going to make you a bigger part of the film."

Marvel Studios has not confirmed reports that the Guardians will return in Love and Thunder, but previously captured set photos revealed first looks at Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Kraglin (Sean Gunn) after the events of Avengers: Endgame.

"It's one of those things where I kind of dance around it because I don't want to piss anybody at Marvel off. I don't want to piss anybody at Disney off," Bautista said about Drax's unofficially official return in Love and Thunder. "And as far as I know, I guess they gave Pratt a go-ahead to announce that he was in the film, but I haven't heard anything about it. And as far as I've heard, they said it's not OK to confirm that you're in the film. But obviously, when all the Guardians are on a Disney jet going to Australia and they photograph us walking into the hotel… (Laughs.) There are photographs of everybody except for me on set. So because there were no photographs of me as Drax on set, I've not come out and said, 'Yeah, I'm in Thor 4.'"

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Joining Hemsworth are returning franchise stars Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Waititi as Korg, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Jaimie Alexander as Sif, Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster, and Marvel Cinematic Universe newcomers Russell Crowe and Christian Bale as Zeus and Gorr the God Butcher, respectively.

Marvel Studios releases Thor: Love and Thunder in theaters on May 6, 2022.