Dave Bautista Says He’s Retiring As Drax Because Of His Age

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Dave Baustista recently broke fans’ hearts by confirming that he’ll not be returning to play Drax the Destroyer following Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. We know to expect the upcoming threequel to be the end of the current team lineup, but the door remains open for these beloved characters to come back in some form in the MCU. However, the former WWE legend won’t be returning as Drax and now he’s opened up about why.

While speaking on The Ellen Show about his new Netflix movie, zombie heist mashup Army of the Dead, Bautista once again addressed his claims that he’s done as Drax. The star reiterated his prior comments, as well as explaining that he only ever signed up to do three Guardians films. Besides that, Bautista said that his age is a contributing factor, too, as he’s finding the challenge of staying at peak fitness to play the permanently shirtless Drax “harder and harder.”

“It will (be his last appearance),” Bautista said. “It’s weird because when I said it, I said it recently because I’ve been doing interviews and talking a lot about Guardians and I didn’t think it was going to be news because I figured everybody assumed that this is how it works. We work in trilogies and James Gunn has already announced that it’s his last film, and when James is done I’m done, and I’m also going to be 54 years old by the time Guardians 3 comes out and just like the shirtless thing is getting harder and harder for me. The journey has come full circle and I’m ready to just kind of step aside and wrap it up.”

This echoes something Bautista has said before about the demands of the role of Drax. He’s previously ruled out the idea of a Disney Plus series as the actor revealed he’d be “miserable” if he had to undergo the extreme makeup it takes to transform him into the character on an ongoing production like a TV show. Given the physical demands of the part, then, it seems Bautista has well and truly made his mind up about saying goodbye to Drax.

The good news is we’ve still got a lot more of him in the MCU to come. Not only will he continue to be a major player in Guardians 3 – which is finally on its way in May 2023 – but he’ll also feature in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which is to shoot along with Vol. 3 and will arrive on Disney Plus in time for Christmas 2022. Outside of Marvel, Dave Bautista is extremely busy as well, as we’ll see him in Dune later this year and he’s just signed up for Knives Out 2.