The New Year will bring a whole slate of awesome new science fiction movies to theaters across the country. It will also bring two new Marvel movies with Captain America: The Winter Soldier in April and Guardians of the Galaxy in August. The latter of the two is the riskiest movie Marvel Studios has released since the first Iron Man movie in 2008. Back then, Iron Man wasn’t a household name and the film starred Robert Downey, Jr. wasn’t a big box office draw as he is now. Luckily, Iron Man was a big success and now Marvel Studios is releasing new comic book movies to audiences and fans that are hungry for more year after year. Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t have the luxury of being a well-known property, even among hardcore comic book readers, so Marvel is partnering up with an unlikely company to heighten awareness of the new cosmic comic book movie.
According to Comic Book Movie, actor Dave Bautista is returning to the WWE on January 20th, the same week as the wrestling entertainment company’s Royal Rumble on pay-per-view. Considering that Guardians of the Galaxy has wrapped production and is currently in post-production, it’s believed that Bautista’s return to the WWE is a calculated move on Marvel’s part to bring awareness of Guardians of the Galaxy to the WWE’s 15 million weekly viewers. That’s a lot of people that will hear about Marvel’s new summer movie every time Dave Bautista’s name is mentioned on a weekly basis.
Dave Bautista got his start in the entertainment industry with the WWE and it’s only been recently that he made the transition from the squared circle to the big screen. He appeared in countless direct-to-video movies including The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption, House of the Rising Sun, and Wrong Side of Town. Bautista made his big screen debut with The Man with the Iron Fists, while he also appeared in this past summer’s Riddick with his Guardians’ co-star Vin Diesel. Dave Bautista will play Drax The Destroyer/Arthur Douglas in the new Marvel movie this summer.
Of course, this isn’t the first time a former wrestler returned to the WWE to, ostensibly, promote a new movie. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson returned to the WWE in early 2011 after he retired from wrestling in 2004. Coincidentally, Fast Five was slated to open in theaters the following April. Considering that it was the first Fast & the Furious movie featuring The Rock and it was also the second highest grossing movie in the franchise, it’s easy to see that his return to the WWE had a small role in Fast Five’s box office success.
Recently, Vin Diesel confirmed that he would voice the tree-like alien Groot in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Diesel now joins Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Benicio del Toro, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, Olivia Lovibond, John C. Reilly, and Glenn Close in the new Marvel movie, which follows “a U.S. pilot who ends up in space in the middle of a universal conflict and goes on the run with futuristic ex-cons who have something everyone wants.”
Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters everywhere on August 1, 2014.