Director James Gunn has officially announced the third installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise has completed filming. The news is bittersweet for fans because while this means the movie is one step closer to appearing in theaters, it also means that Dave Bautista is retiring from his role as Drax.
Bautista has played the character in all three films but has prefaced for a long time that after the third movie, he would no longer be portraying Drax. There’s no real reason cited by Bautista, simply that he feels things have come to a natural end for him, and he’s ready to move on to the next thing.
Something he’s quoted to have decided was that when Gunn was finished with Guardians, he would be as well. That almost came sooner than later, as some controversy with Gunn’s past social media comments came to the surface, and Disney fired the director, only to be rehired when Bautista insisted he would not do the third film without Gunn.
Gunn took to Twitter to pen an emotional goodbye to the project once he finished his final day on set, describing the experience as a reminder “to be grateful for everything I have right now.”
View this post on Instagram
After over 100 days of shooting & over 3000 shots, this is the slate for the final shot of #GotGVol3, presented to me by the camera crew. It was an easy shot of Rocket seated, 1st with @seangunn, & then nothing there, & took everything in me not to break down sobbing on the spot. pic.twitter.com/pOrTjfab2h
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 7, 2022
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is scheduled to appear in theaters on May 5, 2023.