The role of Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy transformed Dave Bautista from a WWE wrestler to a Hollywood movie star. It helped firmly established him as a figure in modern action movies, and set him on the path he’s still on. (In a matter of days, he’ll headline Zack Snyder’s new Netflix movie, Army of the Dead.) Still, as much as he loves Drax and Guardians, he also admits the thinks that Marvel “dropped the ball” when it comes to full exploring his character onscreen.

That’s what Bautista told Collider. Saying that the character is “always going to special” to him, he also said he “wished [Marvel] would have invested more in Drax.” He added...

...I think Drax has more of a story to tell. I think Drax has a really interesting backstory which they dropped the ball on. That’s no dig on Marvel. They had their slate, I know what they’re focused on, that’s what they have slated out. But man, I think they really missed the ball on Drax. He has such a great backstory. Selfishly, as a performer, that would have given me the opportunity to show different sides of Drax, emotionally. And physically as well ... The whole “Destroyer” thing they just threw that out the window...

Bautista’s alluding to the fact that Marvel Comics’ Drax has had a few different appearances and personalities, including his “Drax the Destroyer” phase which was a lot more of a serious and imposing warrior than the version that Bautista plays, who is more of his team’s comic relief. (“People just fell so in love with the comedic side of Drax they tapped into that, then they tapped into it more, then they really dug a hole into it,” Bautista also noted.)

It’s hard to argue with Bautista’s comments. The primary storylines in the Guardians movies belong to Star-Lord and Gamora, and then maybe Rocket and Groot after that. Drax has a tragic backstory, but very little of it and how it affects him has played out onscreen, in favor of emphasizing on Bautista’s outstanding comic timing. Which is great for those movies; it’s part of what makes them so fun. From an acting standpoint, though, it probably isn’t the most challenging or dynamic part to play six times.

Drax will next be seen in Thor: Love and Thunder, opening on May 6, 2022, followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in May of 2023.

Gallery — Marvel’s Complete Phase Four Movie Lineup:

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