Picture the scene: we’ve slipped into some alternate reality in which Jason Momoa, star of Justice League and the so-hot-right-now Aquaman movie, has landed the role of Drax the Destroyer in what would be James Gunn’s first Guardians of the Galaxy film. What would that look like?
A lot like God of War, it seems, as Charlie Wen, head honcho at Marvel Studios’ visual department, shared two pieces of concept art rendering Momoa as the enraged Guardian – a role that would ultimately go to Dave Bautista, though Gunn’s shock departure from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has left Bautista’s fate undecided.
Nevertheless, this artwork presents a radically new version of Drax, replete with skinhead and twin blades. We’ll let Charlie Wen take it from here, who offered a little more insight into the character’s design via Instagram:
Jason Momoa was almost Drax (before his #aquaman days;)! He also had a great audition that deftly displayed his toughness and double blades handles. But in short, Bautista was definitely the right choice— he had a perfect blend of natural quirk and brawn. This was an early sketch to explore the prospect of Momoa taking on the character. The comic book version was extremely close to another character that I designed called Kratos for God of War, so…I tried to steer Drax clear of it. @justinjsweet did the super cool final concept design for Drax!
Had things panned out differently, Momoa certainly would have brought a brute physicality and toughness to the role of Drax, but then again, Warner Bros. and James Wan would’ve been left without their Arthur Curry. And let’s face it, now that Aquaman is on the verge of entering Hollywood’s exclusive billion-dollar club – the first DC movie to do so since The Dark Knight Rises, no less – we’re quite happy with this timeline as is.
Aquaman is currently playing across theaters the world over, while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been taken off Marvel’s slate as the search for Gunn’s replacement continues.