Dave Bautista declined a specially-created part in James Gunn’s upcoming The Suicide Squad movie in favour of taking on a leading role in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead.
The former wrestler had previously voiced his eagerness to reteam with Gunn in the DC Comics blockbuster, and the 52-year-old, who plays Drax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, reveals he met with the filmmaker and was heavily involved in the early planning stages of The Suicide Squad.
However, he ended up turning down the opportunity in order to fulfil a career goal of working with Snyder on the zombie thriller, which was being developed for Netflix.
“I was all up for it, and then I got Army of the Dead, which was not only a lead role for me, but also I really wanted to work with Zack Snyder,” Bautista shared. “I’ve been wanting to work with him for years.”
He said he was forced to choose between the two projects due to scheduling conflicts, and breaking the news to Gunn was tough.
“I had The Suicide Squad where I got to work with my boy again, even though it’s a smaller role, and then I had Army of the Dead on which I get to work with Zack, I get to build a relationship with Netflix, I get a lead role in a great film – and I get paid a lot more money,” he laughed.
“I had to call James, and I told him, ‘It breaks my heart, because as a friend, I want to be there with you, but professionally, this is the smart decision for me.'”
However, Gunn was fully supportive of Bautista’s decision: “He said, ‘I completely get it. I’m proud of you that you’re even in this position. I’m proud that I had something to do with you being in this position where you have to make these hard decisions.'”
Bautista and Gunn will instead reunite on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is set for release in 2023.
– Cover Media