What a loyal guy! Dave Bautista, who plays Drax the Destroyer in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, told Variety’s Marc Malkin he could not have imagined ever doing the third film in the series without recently reinstated director James Gunn.
This isn’t necessarily anything we didn’t know already. Bautista was the loudest voice amongst the Guardians cast to publicly protest the 2018 decision by Disney to fire James Gunn from the Marvel Studios film. In a tweet from August of 2018, which has been transcribed below, he called the decision “nauseating”. He joined the cast in signing an open letter in protest of the decision, made it clear he would not be happy working with another director, and demanded the studio at least use Gunn’s script.
“I will do what Im legally obligated to do but @Guardians without @JamesGunn is not what I signed up for. GOTG w/o @JamesGunn just isn’t GOTG. Its also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis . That’s just how I feel”
There was a lot of speculation that Bautista might leave the project altogether; and now we know he considered it. Bautista elaborated to Malkin:
“I am contractually obligated [to do the third movie], but I think that Marvel and Disney –– if I had really stood my ground and said, ‘I don’t want to do this without James’ –– I think that they are decent enough that they would’ve let me out of my contract.”
Thankfully, Bautista won’t have to entertain that any more as James Gunn has been reinstated on the project. Gunn will also direct WB/DC’s The Suicide Squad and apparently has a role in mind for Bautista on that project as well. (We also exclusively revealed that Gunn is seeking a “monstrous femme fatale for Suicide Squad!)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will begin filming as soon as Gunn finishes his work on The Suicide Squad.