Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel's upcoming epic featuring the space-based super-team may not "have a Hulk," but it now has its own emerald enforcer in Dave Bautista, who The Hollywood Reporter confirms has landed the role of Drax the Destroyer.
The process of casting this role came with several months of rumors which had candidates like Jason Mamoa, Isaiah Mustafa, and Brian Patrick Wade, among others in the mix. However, the name of Bautista, the former WWE superstar, turned actor and part-time MMA fighter, always seemed to find its way on to lists of the most likely to nab the role. That narrative is now a reality, as he joins Chris Pratt's team leader, Peter Quill/Star-Lord as the second confirmed casting for this experimental superhero saga in Marvel's "Phase Two" series of canon-connected films.
As far as the character of Drax goes, he was once a normal human being named Arthur Douglas...that was until a commute across the Mojave Desert would introduce him to the powerful Mad Titan, Thanos, whose ship crash-landed in his vicinity. Not wanting witnesses, Thanos cruelly dispatched Arthur and his wife, with the fate of his daughter being unknown. (She would re-emerge as the character, Moondragon.) However, Thanos was unable to kill Arthur's thirst for revenge; a power that would be harnessed by Thanos' father, Mentor (with whom there is no love lost), placing Arthur's essence into a powerful new green-skinned body designed for pure cosmic violence. His path would eventually lead to joining the Guardians of the Galaxy team.
For Bautista, the role will be a significant bump in prestige. The tough guy journeyman actor has been quietly, but steadily building up quite a resume of action films like this fall's Vin Diesel sequel vehicle, Riddick, The Man with the Iron Fists, and House of the Rising Sun. With the scene-stealing potential of the Drax character, Guardians could serve as his coming out party as an actor.
Guardians of the Galaxy flashes a double thumbs-down gesture before delivering a powerbomb to evil at theaters on August 1, 2014.