Polka-Dot Cat and David Dastmalchian

(Superhero Bits is a collection of stories, updates, and videos about anything and everything inspired by the comics of Marvel, DC, and more. For comic book movies, TV shows, merchandise, events, and whatever catches our eye, this is the place to find anything that falls through the cracks.)

In this edition, of Superhero Bits:

  • Check out the promos for the next episodes of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman
  • Get a first look at Black Panther‘s arrival in Marvel’s Avengers video game
  • Find out why Djimon Hounsou didn’t get the role of Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Dove Cameron explains why The Powerpuff Girls pilot is being reshot
  • See which iconic comic book characters are coming to the video game Brawlhalla
  • All that and more!

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dave bautista army of the dead

Dave Bautista is always looking for a challenge. The Guardians of the Galaxy films may have transformed the former professional wrestler into a household name, but he’s not resting on his laurels. He’s constantly working, headlining action movies (Hotel Artemis, Bushwick), stretching his comedic chops (Stuber, My Spy), and lending unexpected gravitas to science fiction epics (Blade Runner 2049). And that’s before we get to his roles in upcoming films like Dune and Knives Out 2.

His latest role is a big one: he’s the leading man in Army of the Dead, a Netflix action/horror movie directed by Zack Snyder about a crew of mercenaries pulling off a heist in a walled-off, zombie-infested Las Vegas. It’s a very traditional Hollywood role – a stoic man of action – but Bautista finds room for emotion and humor, letting this guy exist in more dimensions than you’d expect.

/Film spoke with Bautista about how he found the emotional through-line of a gory zombie epic, his future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, his increasingly stacked filmography, and the time he watched himself act and hated it so much that he decided to do something about it.

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In a better dimension, we would’ve seen director Denis Villeneuve‘s Dune by now. But the COVID-19 pandemic ran roughshod over an entire year of movie release schedules, so the science fiction epic’s December 18, 2020 release date became an October 1, 2021 release date. It will also debut day-and-date on HBO Max, because this is the weird world in which we live now.

So instead of seeing Dune, we have to listen to the people who made it describe it. I recently sat down with actor Dave Bautista to talk about his work in the new Netflix horror/action film Army of the Dead, but we also found time to chat about Villeneuve’s upcoming film, in which he plays the villainous Glossu Rabban, a sadistic warlord. Among the words Bautista uses to describe the film: beautiful, different, dark, strange, epic. You know, the adjectives you’d hope for.

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Dave Bautista Knives Out 2

Knives Out is a film built on a foundation of cinematic pleasures. Its witty, twisted script. Rian Johnson’s quietly stylish direction. Production and costume design that make you want to redecorate and replace your entire wardrobe. But at the top of that heap is the cast. Daniel Craig’s private detective Benoit Blanc found himself surrounded by a murderer’s row of suspects, each and every one of them played by an actor that you (you meaning “everyone reading this sentence”) like to watch onscreen. It was an ensemble of gems, each performer an immediate crowd-pleaser.

This is not lost on Dave Bautista, who was recently announced as joining the cast of Knives Out 2, which will see the return of Johnson and Craig, but the introduction of a wholly new supporting cast. Bautista shrugged off the “former professional wrestler” stigma with his hilarious work in Guardians of the Galaxy, and he’s shown himself to be a hungry, curious, and adventurous actor since then, turning in memorable performances in films like Spectre and Blade Runner 2049. Joining the sequel to a film that utilized a such a powerful ensemble feels like the next step, and he is well-aware of the pressure.

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Dave Bautista is on a roll. The former wrestler has carved out a niche in the film industry – if you need a soulful, funny performer who also looks like he can crush your skull with a single hand, he’s your man. And while he’ll soon be matching wits with Daniel Craig in Knives Out 2 and conquering planets in Dune, it’s tough to talk to Bautista without bringing up the character that made his newfound acting career possible: Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I recently spoke with Bautista about his work in Zack Snyder’s ultra-gory horror heist movie Army of the Dead, in which he plays the the stoic leader of a band of zombie-killing mercs, but eventually, our conversation turned back to Drax. It had to. After all, he’s previously said that this will be his final time playing the literal-minded alien warrior. And he’s said that Marvel dropped the ball with one aspect of the character that he wishes was further explored.

But he has a solution to that problem: wait a few years, recast Drax, and go on that journey with a new actor.

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guardians of the galaxy cut joke

With Guardians of the Galaxy, Dave Bautista‘s Drax the Destroyer became one of the standout characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Mean, menacing, but with a natural flair for comedy, Bautista made the instant leap from WWE star to rising Hollywood star, without having to suffer the indignity of making a few critical stinkers that many of his fellow pro wrestlers-turned-actors have had to do. But Bautista says it was that comedy talent that sunk Drax’s potential, leading Marvel Studios to “drop the ball” on the character’s backstory.

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army of the dead review

Las Vegas is a war zone in Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder‘s gore-tastic shoot ’em up about a team of good-looking mercenaries trying to steal $200 million from a casino safe. That would be hard enough on its own, but to complicate matters, a zombie outbreak has turned Vegas into a place of non-stop death and carnage. And just to further complicate matters, the government has decided to drop a nuclear bomb on the Gambling Capital of the World. So our heroes have to dodge the living dead, break into a safe, and get the hell out of town before they get nuked. Sounds like a piece of cake, right?

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Bautista Knives Out 2

Dave Bautista is heading to Greece for a murder mystery.

The Guardians of the Galaxy and Army of the Dead actor is the second major actor to sign on to Knives Out 2, writer/director Rian Johnson‘s follow-up to his 2019 hit. This will mark a reunion between Bautista and Knives Out 2 star Daniel Craig, since the two previously worked together on the 2015 James Bond film Spectre, in which Craig played the British super spy and Bautista played a hulking silent brute named Hinx. Read More »

drax future

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.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

dave bautista army of the dead

Dave Bautista was recently faced with an enviable choice: he had to decide to be in one big movie being made by a popular director, or another big movie being made by a popular director. Bautista was offered roles in both James Gunn‘s The Suicide Squad and Zack Snyder‘s Army of the Dead, and while the actor has a great working relationship with Gunn, he ultimately decided on Snyder’s zombie movie. Why? Simple: it was the better career move. But that doesn’t mean Bautista didn’t feel a little guilty about turning his friend Gunn down.

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