The 52-year-old wrestler-turned-actor quickly became a fan favorite in 2014 when he played Drax the Destroyer in the massively popular Marvel film alongside Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and more. His popularity continued to rise with the franchise’s second installment, as well as crossover films “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame.”
Now, after a handful of turns as the character, Bautista is ready to move on.
During an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Monday, the star confirmed that the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will be his final appearance as the character.
“[Director] James Gunn has already announced that it’s his last [Marvel] film and when James is done, I’m done,” said Bautista, pointing out that the franchise was always meant to be a trilogy.
The actor previously advocated for Gunn to be reinstated as the director of the movie after he was fired in response to insensitive tweets from his past resurfacing. Bautista, along with his co-stars who also pulled for the reinstatement, were successful and Gunn was invited to take the helm.
“I’m also going to be 54 years old by the time ‘Guardians 3’ comes out and the shirtless thing is getting harder and harder for me,” he admitted. “The journey has come full circle and I’m ready to kind of step aside and wrap it up.”
Bautista’s character, Drax, is exclusively shirtless in most – if not all – of his scenes. The character is a blue-skinned alien with red markings on his chest, stomach, face and arms.
Dave Bautista confirmed that the upcoming installment of the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ franchise will be his last. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage)
While “Guardians 3” will be his final time working as Drax, Bautista has a few more projects as the character on the horizon. He will appear in the Gunn-directed “Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” in 2022 and has all but confirmed that he filmed scenes for “Thor: Love and Thunder” in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Not long after bursting onto the scene, he has appeared in a number of high-profile flicks like “Spectre,” “Hotel Artemis” and, most recently, Netflix’s “Army of the Dead.”
Bautista’s hot streak seems like it will continue beyond Marvel, as he’s also set to appear in “Dune” and the highly-anticipated “Knives Out” sequel with Daniel Craig, Kate Hudson, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monae and Edward Norton.