Posted on Friday, February 15th, 2013 by Russ Fischer
The leap to the big screen has been rough for Jason Momoa, who until a few years ago was best known for roles on Stargate: Atlantis and the late-model Baywatch. The Conan remake didn’t do him any great favors, but at least he landed in Game of Thrones. Numbers tell me that not many of you saw Momoa menace Stallone in Bullet to the Head last month, but here’s the thing: the movie isn’t good, but Momoa lights it up every time he’s on screen. The guy is charismatic, scary, and brutish all at once.
Now he reportedly has one of the biggest roles in town: Momoa has been offered the character of Drax the Destroyer in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Latino Review, which has been on fire with scoops of late, reports that Momoa screen tested this week, and that Marvel was so taken with that effort that he’s been offered the part and negotiations are ongoing now. (Isiah Mustafa, Dave Bautista, and Brian Patrick also reportedly tested for the role)
Appearing first in the pages of Iron Man, Drax was once once a human whose family was killed by Thanos. (The big guy introduced at the end of The Avengers.) His body destroyed, the human’s spirit was re-housed in a different body and rechristened Drax. The explicit reason for his resurrection: destroy Thanos.
The character was a part of the “cosmic” side of the Marvel Universe for decades, appearing here and there, eventually landing in a version of the Guardians of the Galaxy team.
Drax is enormously powerful — disproportionately so, when compared to human heroes — but that’s what it takes to kill Thanos. Thing is, Drax’s early days are defined by frustration, and as such his background is more interesting than some super-powered stories. See, all Drax exists to do is kill Thanos, and other people have beat him to the task. More than once. There’s some existential angst to the guy, in some of the early stories, as he tries to figure out what the hell he should be doing with himself.
How does that play into the film? We know relatively little about the story. The reported logline is “a U.S. pilot ends up in space in the middle of a universal conflict and goes on the run with futuristic ex-cons who have something everyone wants.” Expect Drax to play a role something like the one filled by the Hulk in The Avengers.
The pilot is Chris Pratt, who will play Star-Lord. There are non-human characters Groot and Rocket Raccoon, who will likely be brought to life with a blend of effects work and mo-cap. Another alien enemy of Thanos, Gamora, is yet to be cast. James Gunn directs, and the film is set for an August 1, 2014 release.
Update: Borys Kit of THR throws some water on LR’s scoop:
Clarity Alert: My sources are telling me Jason Momoa TESTED for Drax the Destroyer/GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY but at this time has NO offer.
— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) February 15, 2013
Even as original the scooper says:
So Marvel came in LOW as expected re: Momoa offer, and reps are not having it. They're pushing Marvel hard to come up a tad.
— Umberto Gonzalez (@elmayimbe) February 15, 2013