Will Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Spell the End for Drax?

James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise has been one of the highlights of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the rag-tag group of misfits becoming instant hit amongst fans. However, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 reportedly being Gunn’s last film with the group, many are worried that we may have seen the last of the Guardians.

This concern is more prominent when discussing Drax the Destroyer, played by former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista. Bautista has recently confirmed that his appearance in the third film will be the last time he plays Drax, leading to many fearing what may happen to the character. Since both Thanos and Ronan have been killed off, Drax’s storyline could potentially end with the death of the character.

Bautista has urged fans that Drax is not going anywhere and that he will merely not be portrayed by the actor. However, in the same Twitter exchange, Gunn also clarified that he would not recast Drax as he believed only Bautista could play the character, giving fans mixed signals as to what the fate of the Destroyer may be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Bautista’s comments imply that Drax is not going to bite the bullet in the MCU, suggesting that the character may only not return due to the actor retiring from the role. While Bautista implies that age is a major factor, it is no secret that he has had issues with Marvel in the past, specifically from the James Gunn saga which saw the director fired by Disney.

Recently, Bautista discussed with Collider Marvel’s handling of his character and how he believes Marvel “dropped the ball” with portraying Drax’s backstory, as the studio has not touched on how the character earned the name of “Destroyer.”

“Now that I’m four films in…I really wished they would have invested more in Drax, personally. Because I think Drax has more of a story to tell. I think Drax has a really interesting backstory which they dropped the ball on. That’s no dig on Marvel. They had their slate, I know what they’re focused on, that’s what they have slated out. But man, I think they really missed the ball on Drax. He has such a great backstory. Selfishly, as a performer, that would have given me the opportunity to show different sides of Drax, emotionally. And physically as well. Because, if you notice, Drax, although he looks like a badass, you look at him and he looks terrifying, but Drax gets his ass kicked more than any other Marvel character…The whole “Destroyer” thing they just threw that out the window…people just fell so in love with the comedic side of Drax they tapped into that, then they tapped into it more, then they really dug a hole into it.”

– Dave Bautista via Collider

While Bautista’s comments make it unclear of what fate Drax may face, it seems the character’s story could indeed be coming to an end. Drax was viewed as a tragic character in Guardians of the Galaxy, but has since went on to play a more comedic role in subsequent appearances. Dave Bautista will next appear as Drax in Thor: Love and Thunder before returning for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.