Dave Bautista Reveals Everything: ‘Guardians’ Stars Will Leave Amid Franchise Fallout, Boycott

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Gamora (Zoe Saldaña) with the Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and Drax (Dave Bautista)

Credit: Marvel Studios

When May rolls around, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will finally wave goodbye to the franchise’s ragtag team of disparate misfits in director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023).

As the time nears, Drax the Destroyer actor Dave Bautista has set the record straight on what to expect from the second sequel in Gunn’s trilogy.

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

The Marvel Comics-inspired characters first appeared on the scene nine years ago in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), and have since gone on to star in six other movies for the MCU. From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) to Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) to The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022), the team has quite the presence in Kevin Feige’s MCU.

But all good things must come to an end, and for a long time now both cast and crew — Gunn and Bautista, specifically — have been teasing the end of this current team of Guardians. That means in May we will be bidding farewell to Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, and Bautista who play Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Gamora, Nebula, Mantis, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and Drax, respectively. That is, according to the reports from many of the actors themselves.

Cast of 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Confirmed: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Star Recast Ahead of Third Movie

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 also introduces some MCU newcomers such as Will Poulter as Adam Warlock and Chukwudi Iwuji as High Evolutionary, with the plot said to center around Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon and his traumatic past, although a trailer has yet to be officially revealed.

So, with the comments of the franchise ending and actors retiring from their respective roles, the live-action Marvel Universe may look increasingly different moving forward as more and more legacy characters start to vanish to make way for new heroes like Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton), and She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany). There should still be a footprint of long-standing Avengers as characters like Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), are still involved in the franchise.

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

On leaving the MCU and retiring from his role as Drax the Destroyer, Dave Bautista recently visited The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and shared his thoughts on bringing Drax’s story to an end. He said (via The Direct):

“…I feel like it’s…so this is my seventh film as Drax, and my third ‘Guardians’, and it’s like our trilogy, and that’s kind of what we all signed up for, to do a trilogy. This will be the last version of our Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Drax (Dave Bautista) in 'The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special' (2022). Credit: Marvel Studios
Credit: Marvel Studios

The former WWE wrestler commented on how Drax’s story and the actor’s journey in playing him is a direct parallel to his previous career. Bautista said:

“It’s hard, but it’s time, and it’s the perfect exit. We all had those perfect kind of character arcs and such a storybook ending. I constantly relate it to the way I finished my wrestling career, I ended it on a storybook note and I would never go back and tarnish that, and it’s the same with this, with Drax. I just got to end it in a perfect way, and I would never sign up for another job as Drax just to get a paycheck, I wouldn’t tarnish that and I won’t do it.”

Drax (Dave Bautista) laughing
Credit: Marvel Studios

The hard pass on ever returning as Drax gives us some answers: either the MCU will never reprise the roles of these specific Guardians, or they would have to recast the stars if they were to return. In fact, only two years ago did Marvel recast Drax after the character appeared in the animated series What If…?. Fred Tatasciore voiced the character for the canon series while Bautista claimed he was never asked.

Bautista’s comments come as Gunn revealed his “Chapter 1” slate for DC Studios’s DC Universe which includes new Superman and Batman movies. After the director-turned-CEO, and colleague Peter Safran, removed Henry Cavill from his role as Kal-El/Superman, fans took to social media to condemn the decision, sparking outrage amongst DC and MCU fans with calls to boycott taking over Twitter.

Henry Cavill as Superman
Credit: Warner Bros.

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The DC fallout is further being driven by the continued employment of Ezra Miller. The controversial actor has hit the headlines over the last couple of years following arrests, erratic behavior, and evading law enforcement. Some fans have called for the boycott to extend from DC projects to Gunn’s final Guardians of the Galaxy installment but whether the director’s action at the opposing studio will have that reach is yet to be seen.

Sean Gunn and Elizabeth Debicki will also reprise their roles as Kraglon Obfonteri and Ayesha, respectively.

Do you think the Guardians of the Galaxy will return at a later time? Let us know in the comments down below!

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