At this point, when an actor is hired to work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we kind of assume that they could potentially stay in that role forever. Even with a Marvel character dies, most of them come back. Robert Downey Jr. really got the cinematic universe rolling with Iron Man back in 2008. While he was in plenty of films and stayed around for a long time, eventually giving us a fitting end for his character, fans are still demanding he return. Marvel fans do not get enough. So with Dave Bautista already discussing that he won’t be playing Drax forever, audiences are understandably panicked. What will Bautista do instead that could possibly be better than the MCU? And what will this mean for Drax?
Marvel comic writer Jim Starlin is the mind that created Drax in the first place. Following the recent interviews with Dave Bautista, Starlin opened up about his feelings on the character, how the Marvel Cinematic Universe has handled Drax, and what he thinks will happen moving forward. One of his comments that is drawing the most attention is his suggestion that it would be acceptable to recast Drax for the Marvel Cinematic Universe if Bautista decides to leave the movies as he’s said he plans to after Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3 releases.
Jim Starlin’s perspective is understandable, and one wherein he is trying to relate to Dave Bautista. Starlin pointed out that Dave Bautista is currently 52 years old. He’s said that he doesn’t see himself playing Drax, who is always shirtless, for a lot longer. Starlin said that he understood not wanting to grow older and keep taking your shirt off on screen. From Jim Starlin’s perspective, the character of Drax first appeared drawn on the page in his comics, and then on screen as played by Dave Bautista, but Bautista and Drax are not one in the same. For many fans, they can’t imagine anyone else playing the character, but Jim Starlin is better able to separate the two.
While Jim Starlin can see Dave Bautista and Drax are not one in the same, he does feel it’ll be difficult to recast the actor considering how great Bautista’s comedic timing is as Drax. He expressed that he felt it would be difficult to find someone half as good.
Many of Jim Starlin’s comments were in direct reply to things Dave Bautista has said recently, so he clearly keeps up with the character and actor. For example, Bautista has said that he wishes Marvel would have put more work into Drax’s backstory. Characters like Rocket and Gamora have had a lot more screen time, particularly in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol: 2. This screen time has been dedicated to their backstory. However, Starlin didn’t feel this was such a problem. Talking about Drax, Starlin said, “He’s a big hulking brute who lost his family.” He said that Drax’s character was simple and that was all that was needed.
It’s hard to imagine someone other than Dave Bautista playing the role of Drax. With so many characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems more likely they’d retire the character than recast him, but anything is possible. At this point, James Gunn and other actors may also be done with Guardians of the Galaxy after the third installment, so we’ll have to see what actually happens when the time comes for Dave Bautista and others to make their final Marvel decisions.