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Dave Bautista Confirms He’s Done Playing Drax After ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’

Bautista commemorated the "end of a journey that changed my life" in an Instagram tribute.

Dave Bautista, "Guardians of the Galaxy"

“Guardians of the Galaxy”

Disney/Marvel

Dave Bautista has officially bid farewell to his “Guardians of the Galaxy” character, Drax.

The MCU actor appeared in a total of six Marvel films as deadpan Drax the Destroyer, with three “Guardians” films, two “Avengers” installments, plus upcoming “Thor: Love & Thunder.” Bautista will additionally play Drax one final time in a “Guardians” Christmas special later this year before “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is released in May 2023.

“Haven’t found the words yet,” Bautista captioned an Instagram post marking the end of “Vol. 3” production. “It ended so suddenly and I was on to my next film before I could process it all. End of a journey that changed my life.”

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” completed production on May 8, with director James Gunn also sharing a social media pic to commemorate the final chapter for the franchise starring Bautista, Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, and Zoe Saldana.

“After over 100 days of shooting & over 3000 shots, this is the slate for the final shot of #GotGVol3 presented to me by the camera crew. It was an easy shot of Rocket seated, 1st with @seangunn, then nothing there, & took everything in me not to break down sobbing on the spot,” Gunn tweeted.

The “Peacemaker” showrunner continued, “The majority of the last ten years of my life have been spent working on & thinking about the Guardians. I still have a long road ahead of me with VFX & editing, but it was still momentous to me. It is somewhat simple to explain to others how much I love this cast & crew. It is more difficult to explain how much I love these characters – that I see them as parts of myself & parts of those I love, & filming them, & writing their words, is a way of expressing that love.”

Gunn concluded, “Again, I’ll still be working with them over the next year until release, but shooting that last shot was a reminder of the warm impermanence of life & love, & how that impermanence makes it so precious, so valuable, & is a good reason to be grateful for what I have right now.”

Bautista previously stood by Gunn after he was fired in 2018 following the uncovering of inappropriate tweets. Bautista openly addressed the fact that he risked his career to defend Gunn, saying he could always fall back on his long history as a professional wrestler if he was canceled by Hollywood. Bautista called Gunn’s firing a “personal, political attack” led by Disney. Gunn was later rehired to helm “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”

Bautista later shared on social media that he was “never asked” to voice Drax in the animated Disney+ series “What If?,” to which Gunn wrote, “What,” expressing his shock.

“I just felt like I was Drax. I developed the character,” Bautista formerly told The Hollywood Reporter. “He was a part of me, and I’m a part of him…No matter what absurd thing James Gunn writes for me, I just don’t think I’d be uncomfortable with it; I’m too used to it. It’s like putting on an old pair of jeans.”

Following Bautista’s non-MCU breakout in Zack Synder’s “Army of the Dead,” the actor is currently filming the new M. Night Shymalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin,” plus lending his voice to the animated film “Groove Tails.”

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