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Drax Actor Dave Bautista May Return To Marvel - But Not How You Likely Think

Dave Bautista says he's not done with Marvel — or the superhero genre. After transitioning from pro wrestling to acting and playing a slew of less-pronounced roles, he landed a supporting part as Drax in James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy," immediately becoming a fan favorite and a staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But when "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" debuted in 2023, Bautista made it clear that he was done with the character.

"I love [Drax]. But there's a relief [that it's over]," the wrestler-turned-actor told GQ, adding that he didn't want Drax to be his legacy and that he was interested in more serious roles. This was a sentiment Bautista expressed throughout the lead-up to "Vol. 3." However, he clarified his earlier comments in a separate chat with io9. "When I said that I was done, I was really just done with my journey as Drax. I still have a relationship with Marvel," the actor said, adding that he's met with Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and franchise producer Lou D'Esposito.

Bautista added he's open to more superhero roles if they're the right fit. "I love the universe—the superhero universe, I love it. I'm a fan. So Marvel or DC, if they call, I would answer the phone," he said. "And if the role makes sense, I'd be all over it." Without explicitly mentioning any characters, he also highlighted the type of parts he'd like to play next. "I just would like the opportunity to do a bigger role, a different role," the actor explained. "Maybe a deeper role. I'd love to have the opportunity to play ... an ominous villain in the superhero universe."

The type of comic book character Dave Bautista wants to play

It's interesting how Bautista namedropped both Marvel and DC, two competing superhero universes, in his interview with io9. While a number of actors have played multiple roles in the Marvel universe, it would be pretty jarring for audiences to see Bautista take on another role. As for characters he could tackle that are deeper, how about Dr. Doom, who will hopefully debut in Marvel's upcoming "Fantastic Four" film?

The actor previously expressed interest in taking on the role of Bane in the DC Universe and things seemed to be leaning in his favor when James Gunn was announced as the franchise's new boss. However, in 2023, the actor put those dreams to rest. "I have had conversations with James about that but I think the direction he's leaning in, completely rebooting that whole universe, he's starting from scratch and starting younger and fresher and I think you need to do that," he told Insider, adding that he no longer feels he can bring justice to the "Batman" villain. 

Should Dave Bautista return to superhero movies?

Dave Bautista's comments regarding his potential return to Marvel are interesting, especially when one considers the trajectory his career has taken. He has done an exceptionally fine job in establishing himself as an A-lister, refusing to get typecast. His post'-"Guardians of the Galaxy" career is filled with gems, with supporting performances in projects like "Spectre." He would later go on to solidify himself as a character actor in films like "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" and "Knock at the Cabin," proving that he could provide audiences with nuanced, layered performances. 

Now, he's a key part of Denis Villeneuve's "Dune" films, starring as the nefarious Glossu Rabban, a role he's found to be both engaging and validating. While speaking with IGN, the actor gushed about being able to prove himself in one of the more complex scenes in "Dune: Part Two." "And that's what I love: that I have that confidence from Denis where he knows that I could pull off that moment, because it just validates me," Bautista said. "I've always said that I want to be an actor, I want to be a movie star. And it's moments like that where I get to say, I told you, you know? I get to prove my point."

Bautista has undoubtedly proven himself, especially with audiences. With such tremendous clout and range, it seems like he should continue to take on more daring, original roles that demonstrate his acting chops.