Strap yourselves in folks cause this one requires some backstory. Marvel star Dave Bautista has been on the interview circuit lately ahead of the release of his new Netflix movie, Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead. With Marvel Studios recently confirming a release date for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, that topic has come up in some interviews. Speaking with Digital Spy, Bautista spoke about an idea filmmaker James Gunn had for a "Drax and Mantis film," but added "I don't think they're very interested, or it doesn't fit into the way they have things mapped out. But other than that, no. I mean, as far as my obligations, I've got Guardians 3, and that's probably going to be the end of Drax."
A write-up on this quote saw IGN claim "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 might be the last time we see Drax in the MCU," which, fair; prompting Bautista himself to add "Drax isn’t going anywhere. He just won’t be played by this dude! by the time G3 comes out I’ll be 54 yrs old for gods sake! im expecting everything to start sagging any second now." This tweet from Bautista lead to Gunn himself chiming in: "There’s no Drax for me without you, buddy! You ARE the MCU’s Drax the Destroyer and, as far as I’m concerned, could never be replaced. And you have the right to do whatever you want with your acting choices!"
There’s no Drax for me without you, buddy! You ARE the MCU’s Drax the Destroyer and, as far as I’m concerned, could never be replaced. And you have the right to do whatever you want with your acting choices! ❤️ @DaveBautista https://t.co/Mn5uNRVUvN— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 8, 2021
Bautista added, "And there’s no Drax for me without you brother! #EndOfAJourney Folded hands I love you dude!" In response to a fan comment, Gunn also mentioned "I would recast many actors without batting an eye. But I wouldn’t recast Drax, that simple."
Despite all of the above seemingly indicating that Bautista is finished with the part after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (though he will seemingly play the character in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney+), James Gunn wasn't as definitive when asked by a Marvel fan if he would return for a fourth movie, tweeting: "Never say never but I see Vol 3 as the end of the Guardians’ story I started telling back with Vol 1."
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will hit theaters on May 5, 2023 with both Dave Bautista as Drax and James Gunn as writer/director.