- Dave Bautista has retired from his role as Drax the Destroyer in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films following the end of production for the series’ third installment.
- On Instagram, Bautista wrote that it was an “end of a journey that changed my life.”
- Prior to filming the latest installment, Bautista has repeatedly discussed his impending departure, all the while expressing his love for the character.
- “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is set to premiere on May 5, 2023.
Dave Bautista’s time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has come to an end following the wrap of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” On Monday, the wrestler-turned-actor took to Instagram to bid farewell to his character Drax the Destroyer.
The half-Filipino actor played Drax for all three “Guardians of the Galaxy” films – the latest of which is set to premiere next year – as well as the third and fourth installments of the “Avengers” franchise. He is also expected to appear as Drax in the upcoming Marvel film “Thor: Love and Thunder,” coming July 8.
The Instagram post featured Bautista seated alongside co-stars Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff and Sean Gunn, as well as the movie’s director James Gunn.
“Haven’t found the words yet,” the actor wrote in the caption. “It ended so suddenly and I was on to my next film before I could process it all. End of a journey that changed my life. #guardiansofthegalaxy #vol3 #GoodbyeDrax #DreamChaser #DreamMachine”
His co-stars shared their support for the 53-year-old actor, with Klementieff, Gillan and Zoe Saldana commenting with red heart emojis underneath the photo.
“You guys rock!” Saldana added.
Bautista has repeatedly stated that the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” film would mark his departure, all while expressing his love for the character. Before production for “Vol. 3” began last year, he told Ellen Degeneres, “You know, the journey’s come full circle, and I’m ready to kind of step aside and wrap it up.”
“I didn’t think [me leaving the MCU] was going to be news because I figured everybody assumed it. This is how this works — we work in trilogies, and James Gunn has already announced that it’s his last film, and when James is done, I’m done,” he added.
He also told People: “It’s been a hell of a journey with this cast and Guardians and the whole Marvel Universe. I feel like it really launched my career. And I’m kind of wrapping up that part of my journey, so it’s very much a bittersweet thing.”
Since the initial “Guardians of the Galaxy” film hit theaters in 2014, Bautista has gone on to appear in other major productions including the James Bond film “Spectre” (2015) and the Oscar-winning film “Dune” (2021).
Director James Gunn also shared the cast photo on his own Twitter and Instagram with the caption: “And that’s a picture wrap on the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. I love this amazing cast & crew & their beautiful talent & kind souls. I’m a lucky human to have them on the journey with me for nearly a decade.”
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“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is set to premiere on May 5, 2023.
Feature Image via Marvel Studios