'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3' Might Be The Last Time We See Drax, According To Dave Bautista

Drax has been one of the pillars of the Guardians of the Galaxy series, the scene-stealing character in a colorful ensemble that includes a beloved talking tree and a trigger-happy raccoon. But as Marvel Studios heads into Phase 4 of its cinematic universe — which will purportedly go further into the cosmos than before — where does that take our favorite galactic weirdos? Even Dave Bautista is not sure, casting doubt over Drax's future post-Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Bautista's Drax has made several forays beyond the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, popping up in Avengers: Infinity WarAvengers: Endgame, and soon, the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. But his forthcoming appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 might be his last, Bautista said. In an  interview with Digital Spy, Bautista admitted that he's not sure where Drax's future lies beyond Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

"I don't know what the script of the third film is, to be honest with you," Bautista said. "There was a script years ago that obviously is going to have to change because the whole direction of the Marvel universe has changed."

So does that new direction for the Marvel Cinematic Universe mean a new direction and new storyline for Drax? In another life, maybe, Bautista said, revealing that, "There were talks for a while about a Drax and Mantis film." The idea was proposed by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, who "really wanted to do a Drax and Mantis film. He laid it out to me. I thought it was such a brilliant idea, but I haven't heard any follow-up from the studio."

Drax and Mantis made for a charming odd couple in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with Bautista's literal alien and Pom Klementieff's naive empath delivering some of the funniest scenes from the sequel. But it seems like Marvel doesn't have room for a Drax and Mantis spin-off — and Bautista has said there's "not a chance in hell" he would reprise the role for a TV series — so Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 might be the last we see of Drax. Bautista said:

"I don't think they're very interested, or it doesn't fit into the way they have things mapped out. But other than that, no. I mean, as far as my obligations, I've got Guardians 3, and that's probably going to be the end of Drax."

But what does "the end of Drax" mean? To take Bautista very literally (as Drax probably would do), we could interpret that as meaning Drax might die in the upcoming Marvel sequel. But maybe he'll just fly off with Mantis for some unseen adventures, to pop up in a potential Marvel short or bonus feature down the line. Never say never.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to be released in theaters on May 5, 2023.