Dave Bautista Explains Why He Turned Down James Gunn's The Suicide Squad for Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead

In a matter of days Dave Bautista will return to movie theaters around the country and then [...]

In a matter of days Dave Bautista will return to movie theaters around the country and then television screens worldwide as Netflix's Army of the Dead debuts from filmmaker Zack Snyder. Later this summer however will be The Suicide Squad, the new film from his Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn will arrive but sadly it won't feature the wrestler turned actor, despite a part in the DC movie being written for him. In a new interview with Digital Spy, Bautista opened up about the situation, saying: "I was all up for it, and then I got Army of the Dead, which was not only a lead role for me, but also I really wanted to work with Zack Snyder. I've been wanting to work with him for years."

He continued, "I had The Suicide Squad where I got to work with my boy again, even though it's a smaller role, and then I had Army of the Dead on which I get to work with Zack, I get to build a relationship with Netflix, I get a lead role in a great film – and I get paid a lot more money. I had to call James, and I told him, 'It breaks my heart, because as a friend, I want to be there with you, but professionally, this is the smart decision for me.' He said, 'I completely get it. I'm proud of you that you're even in this position. I'm proud that I had something to do with you being in this position where you have to make these hard decisions.'"

Army of the Dead will debut in theaters starting next Friday, May 14, ahead of its Netflix streaming debut on Friday, May 21. Speaking in a previous interview about his work in the film, a zombie heist movie that

"I've seen it like five times already. I'm not kidding," Bautista said of Army of the Dead during a panel at Justice Con. "I don't wanna have you go in with super high expectations but you should. There's something about the end of this film that I'm absolutely obsessed with. It just... When you see it you'll see what I mean. I can't wait to hear everyone's feedback. I just love the end of this film. I love it."

Super high expectations are something that Snyder and Netflix clearly have for the movie though as they're betting on the potential of Army of the Dead as a full-blown franchise. A prequel feature film has already been shot and is set to be released while an animated series is also in the works, all for the streamer and stemming from the mind of the Man of Steel director, and Dave Bautista is along for the ride.