Having starred in Riddick and Blade Runner 2049, with Denis Villenueve’s delayed Dune arriving later this year and the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thor: Love and Thunder and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on the way, it’s pretty clear that Dave Bautista is a big fan of the sci-fi genre.
The former professional wrestler is now set to headline an intergalactic actioner of his own after it was announced that STX Films have acquired the high concept Universe’s Most Wanted, which will be directed by Rampage and San Andreas‘ Brad Peyton. Bautista stars as an intergalactic peacekeeper who travels to Earth when a spaceship carrying the most dangerous criminals in the universe crashes into a small town, with the bad guys setting their sights on world domination.
It sounds like it could be a whole lot of fun, with Peyton showing he’s no slouch when it comes to effects-driven entertainment, while co-writer F. Scott Grazier scripted the nonsensical but still enjoyable xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. Pre-production on Universe’s Most Wanted is already well underway, and shooting is expected to kick off this summer in Australia, with Bautista ironically not long having left the country after finishing his scenes for Love and Thunder.
The 52 year-old has shown a willingness to tackle more challenging material than you’d expect from a guy of his dimensions and relative inexperience, but that’s one of the reasons why he’s James Gunn’s favorite wrestler-turned-actor. Bautista may be a giant of a man built like a brick sh*thouse, but his performances always come with a degree of vulnerability and soulfulness that you don’t see from a lot of modern day action heroes, which will no doubt be put to good use when Universe’s Most Wanted gets underway.