The Guardians of the Galaxy are blasting off into space again. Director James Gunn's long-awaited sequel is getting into motion, bringing the band back together for a third non-Avengers adventure — and perhaps the final adventure, based on how one original Guardian tells it.
What Happened — In an interview with Digital Spy magazine, actor Dave Bautista opened up about a number of topics, including his upcoming Netflix movie Army of the Dead. Also on the agenda: what's next for the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and Drax the Destroyer in particular?
Put bluntly? The future doesn't look bright.
In the interview, Bautista talks about Drax's role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as if it's his last time playing the character — which could spell doom for the not-actually invisible man. Here's the quote:
“I don’t know what the script of the third film is, to be honest with you…I can tell you what you already know. There’s definitely going to be a Guardians 3. We’re definitely going to start shooting it this year…I mean, as far as my obligations, I’ve got Guardians 3, and that’s probably going to be the end of Drax.”
Drax the Destroyed — Bautista's Drax often serves as comic relief in the Guardians franchise. Is it possible that he will instead fuel the third film in the franchise's most tragic moment?
There's certainly precedent for Drax's death, as the character has been killed in Marvel Comics lore — a place where death is never exactly permanent, mind you. But his most fatal comic book moments are most closely tied to Thanos, and with the Mad Titan gone, the films will have to go a very different route for the Destroyer's demise.
Beyond death, Drax's life changes in various ways throughout his time in the comics, including exchanging bodies from time to time. There's a world where the MCU's Drax loses his Bautstia-backed body and returns with another actor in the role — a recasting version of how the Guardians movies handle Groot, in other words.
The Inverse Analysis — Is Drax actually going to die? It's fully possible.
Between Groot in the first movie and Yondu in the second, not to mention versions of Gamora and Nebula in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the Guardians have yet to appear in an MCU movie without a significant death. Why should we expect anything different from Guardians 3?
What's more, Bautista was an outspoken critic of Disney during James Gunn's firing from Marvel. "I figured if my career was over, I could always fall back on professional wrestling," the actor told THR about publicly defending Gunn in the aftermath of his firing.
When Bautista talks about his "obligations" surrounding Marvel, it's easy to read the situation as his desire to walk away from the franchise for good. Given how things go in the next Guardians movie, he just might get his wish.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 lands in theaters on May 5, 2023.