Guardians of the Galaxy actor Dave Bautista has shared a major reason why he is ready to step back from the popular franchise after the third installment. The former WWE champion has portrayed the fan-favorite character Dax the Destroyer in the first two GotG movies, Avengers: Infinity War, and Endgame. He will also join the team in the highly anticipated Phase Four movie Thor: Love and Thunder. But in a recent interview on Ellen, Bautista shared that his time as Drax must come to an end.

The main reason Bautista won’t continue as Drax the Destroyer? The shirtless scenes. As the actor gets older, he shared that it’s more difficult to stay in the physical shape required for the role. “I'm going to be 54 years old by the time Guardians 3 comes out, and the shirtless thing is getting harder and harder for me,” Bautista said. He has cherished his time in the franchise, but also noted that “the journey has come full circle and I'm just ready to kind of step aside and wrap it up.”

Bautista was also surprised when his decision caused a significant amount of backlash in the Marvel fandom community. He had always assumed that he would exit the franchise once the trilogy came to a close. “I figured everybody assumed that this is how this works,” explained Bautista. “We work in trilogies, and James Gunn has already announced that it's his last film, and when James is done, I'm done.”

Long-standing franchises such as Marvel provide actors with a great opportunity to flesh out a character over the course of several movies. But Bautista is ready to expand his range and take on different kinds of roles. He has a leading role in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead and will also appear in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. In addition, he was recently added to the cast of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out sequel.

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