Last year, Jason Momoa was up for the role of Drax the Destroyer in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The studio seemed so impressed with Momoa’s presence and physicality that it appeared that he was a virtual lock for the role. But at the last minute, Momoa turned down the part and Marvel started screen testing again, deciding to have WWE wrestler Dave Bautista portray the resurrected alien.
In an interview with Zap2it, Momoa opened up about auditioning for Guardians and why he eventually passed on the opportunity. Apparently, he didn’t want to play another character with minimal dialogue, only there for his physique. He explained:
Dave (Bautista) is perfect for that role, for Drax. It didn’t really fit in my time because I’ve done so many things where I don’t say much and I’m colored up and I have my shirt off again. I made a conscious choice to turn down some movies that were action-based to direct Road to Paloma so people could see that side…. It’s not that it’s not a good role, it just wasn’t the right thing. I was on Stargate: Atlantis for four years playing a similar character called Ronon, who was an alien who didn’t say much and grunted. I’ve been there and done that, whether people have seen it or not. You want to stretch.
Road to Paloma is an action-thriller that Momoa wrote, starred in, and directed for WWE Studios. It’s expected to be released sometime in 2015. Directing a movie that you both wrote and are going to star in is a solid reason to turn down any role, even in a Marvel movie. While it’s doubtful that Road to Paloma will be even remotely as successful as Guardians of the Galaxy, you have to go with your own passion project if you have the means.
Momoa received a lot of criticism for turning down Marvel, but in the end, the studio picked the right actor in Bautista to play Drax. And don’t worry about Momoa, he’s going to be fine. He’s rumored to be up for a role, which is believed to be the villain Darkseid, in Warner Bros and DC Comic’s Batman vs. Superman.
As for Guardians, director James Gunn revealed why alien races like the Skrulls and the Badoon will most likely never be featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It boils down to a film rights issues, which means Marvel Studios don’t own the rights to those characters anymore. Both races belong to Twentieth Century Fox as part of the Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer licensing.
Guardians follows Peter Jason Quill, a half-human, half-alien who is at the center of a galaxy-wide manhunt after he steals a mysterious orb, which is believed to be an Infinity Gem. Once he’s caught and sent to space prison, he tries to escape by building an alliance with a group of misfits and outlaws. When the new team learns about the orb’s true power, they must work together to keep the galaxy safe from Ronan the Accuser and the evil Kree Empire.
Guardians of the Galaxy stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Benicio del Toro, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, Olivia Lovibond, John C. Reilly, and Glenn Close, and opens in theaters everywhere on August 1.