Dave Bautista Quits ‘Guardians’, New Actor Likely Continuing Drax Role In MCU

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Dave Bautista as Drax (L) and Fred Tatasciore (R)

Credit: Marvel Studios (L) / Fred Tatasciore Instagram

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most surprising project could confirm who is likely taking over the role of Drax the Destroyer now that wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista has exited the part.

Dave Bautista (Drax) and Bradley Cooper (Rocket) in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' (2014)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Bautista’s Drax the Destroyer first appeared in the MCU in director James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Bautista, along with most of his other Guardians co-stars including Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord) and Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon), went on to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022), and soon will star in the third — and finalGuardians outing, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023).

The second sequel rejoins the group of disparate misfits in a new mission that will include the return of Elizabeth Debecki’s Ayesha, as well as the first MCU appearance for Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock and Chukwudi Iwuji’s High Evolutionary. Gunn’s third effort for Marvel Studios has long been touted as the last, at least for this specific group of Guardians, and some of the cast have not been quiet over their retirement from their respective roles.

Bradley Cooper as Rocket
Credit: Marvel Studios

And no one has been as loud, and excited, about leaving his role behind as Dave Bautista.

The actor has often spoken out about his dismay about Drax the Destroyer’s storyline, considering his bleak past that was revealed in the inaugural Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and how much he dislikes being shirtless and covered in body paint. In fact, only recently did Bautista once again speak out on his final days as the Marvel superhero, and while the former WWE star may be rejoicing at the prospect of no more Drax, fans of the space-faring team are sure to take it hard.

That being said, it may not all be over for Drax — or any of the other Guardians, as it happens.

Pom KlemenTieff as Mantis, and Dave Bautista as Drax in 'Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2' (2017)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: New Captain Marvel Actress Speaks Out After the MCU Replaced Brie Larson

In 2021, Marvel Studios debuted its first-ever canon animated series, What If…? from creator AC Bradley and director Bryan Andrews. The alternate reality anthology series focused on various “what if?” moments throughout the MCU’s history, bringing together one of the largest assembled A-list casts ever. However, while the likes of Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) lent their voice talents to the first season, a fair few characters were recast with new actors. Let’s remember that What If…? is canon…

Animated Drax and T'Challa taking photo
Credit: Marvel Studios

In the first season of What If…?, characters like Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, and Drax the Destroyer were played by different actors. And while the situations regarding their absence were never confirmed, some floated scheduling conflicts and contractual obligations, Dave Bautista claimed he was never asked. Thus, Fred Tatasciore took on the role of the Guardian for the series.

Now, with one series in the bag, another reportedly coming this year, and a third on the cards, it would seem that Tatasciore will be taking over the role of Drax moving forward, at least in the character’s animated incarnation. As of yet, the full cast of What If…? Season 2 has not been announced but there is a high chance that The Watcher’s (Jeffrey Wright) antics may bring the Guardians of the Galaxy, albeit a Multiversal grouping, back to the MCU following the group’s exit in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Chris Pratt, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan as the Guardians of the Galaxy in 'The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' (2023). Credit: Marvel Studios
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel’s New Spider-Man Finally Speaks Out After Replacing Tom Holland

What If…? Season 2 was originally slated for early 2023, but recent rumors suggest the series has been delayed. It will consist of nine episodes.

Do you think more people will be recast for the animated series What If…? Let us know in the comments below!

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