Drax’s creator thinks Marvel Studios can recast the Guardians of the Galaxy character once Dave Bautista is through with the role. Bautista has admitted he’s in a weird place with playing Drax, feeling like, at 52-years-old, he’s past the point of wanting to play a character with his shirt off all of the time. He also thinks that Marvel Studios dropped the ball when it comes to exploring Drax’s backstory. Jim Starlin created Drax the Destroyer for Marvel Comics in 1973. He says he can sympathize with Bautista’s reasons for leaving his Marvel role behind after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
“I can understand hitting 54 and not wanting to take your shirt off anymore,” Starlin tells Inverse. “The Marvel Universe is going to keep trucking along and they found that they have made money on cosmic stuff. So they will more than likely are going to do more of it. There may be another Drax down the line; somebody else who hopefully has half the comedic timing of Bautista.”
While Marvel has recast roles in the past, those instances have been rare. They’ve typically applied to support characters with limited screen time until that point, like War Machine or Hulk, both recast after their first film appearances.
By contrast, Bautista is a vital part of Guardians of the Galaxy‘s ensemble cast. Thus far, he’s appeared in four movies and will have five Marvel credits (maybe six) to his name before he hangs up Drax’s knives for good. That would be more significant recasting than anything Marvel has done until now.
Starlin created Drax as a human named Arthur Douglas, whom Thanos killed, along with Arthur’s family. One of Marvel’s cosmic beings resurrected Arthur in a new body. He became Drax the Destroyer, whose one purpose was to kill Thanos. While Starlin thinks Bautista has done a “bang-up job” playing Drax, he’s disappointed with Marvel’s lack of attention to the cinematic version of the character.
“Rocket got more in his retelling, and Gamora got the lion’s share of it,” Starlin says. “But I thought Drax was the best of the lot of those characters. He’s certainly the comedic star.” Which isn’t to say Drax needs a deep backstory. “I didn’t think he needed any more to tell you the truth. It’s pretty simple. He’s a big hulking brute who lost his family.”
Do you think Marvel should recast Drax when Bautista leaves the role? Let us know in the comments. Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 are streaming now on Disney+. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens in theaters on May 5, 2023.