Drax Creator Comments on Dave Bautista Being Recast for Future MCU Movies

Jim Starlin, the comic book writer responsible for creating Drax, thinks Dave Bautista did a “bang up job” and talks about recasting the role.

Jim Starlin, the comic writer and artist responsible for creating Drax the Destroyer, has weighed in on Dave Bautista’s recent statements that he is ready to move on from his Guardians of the Galaxy role. Starlin’s work for Marvel includes the creation of Drax, Thanos, and Gamora, as well as writing the Infinity Gauntlet arc which served as the basis for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Drax’s first appearance was in the 1973 issue of The Invincible Iron Man #55, 41 years before James Gunn introduced him into the MCU.

When Gunn first sought to cast former WWE wrestler Bautista, Gunn himself has stated that “he had to fight for him” to win the role, “and it was the most worthy fight I’ve ever fought.” Now, as Gunn is planning to begin filming the final chapter in his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, Bautista has been more than vocal about being ready to step aside from the role once the film is done, recently suggesting that at his age “the shirtless thing is getting harder and harder for me.” Despite feeling that his own time as Drax is drawing to a close, Bautista has also come out to suggest that he would like to see the character continue in the MCU and eventually be recast with a younger actor.

Now off the back of Bautista’s comments, Drax’s creator Jim Starlin spoke with Inverse about his thoughts on Drax’s MCU future. Applauding Bautista for doing a “bang up job” with his creation, he sympathizes with the actor’s desire to move on to other things. Starlin is also confident that Drax’s character will continue on in the MCU even without Bautista under the makeup, saying:

“I can understand hitting 54 and not wanting to take your shirt off anymore... The Marvel Universe is going to keep trucking along and they found that they have made money on cosmic stuff. So they will more than likely are going to do more of it. There may be another Drax down the line; somebody else who hopefully has half the comedic timing of Bautista.”

While it is disappointing that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is likely to be Dave Bautista’s final turn in the role, it most certainly will not be the last fans see of the former WWE star. As for whether or not Drax could be played by another actor, James Gunn is not as confident as either Bautista or Starlin that recasting the role is a viable option. When Bautista shared the news on Twitter, his friend and Guardians of the Galaxy director replied by suggesting, “You ARE the MCU’s Drax the Destroyer and, as far as I’m concerned, could never be replaced.”

Ultimately, though, replacing Bautista with another actor will come down to Kevin Feige and the folks at Marvel Studios. Should that ever happen, there are several options available to them, including seeking to develop a prequel origin film with a younger actor, as per Bautista’s original suggestion, or possibly even introduce an alternate version of the character from the wider multiverse. Regardless, whoever is next in line to don Drax’s makeup will certainly have some big shoes to fill as they attempt to play the lovable Guardians of the Galaxy character.