True endings and permanent deaths have always been rare in the MCU, and the introduction of the multiverse in Phase 4 has only further compounded that issue. In refreshing contrast to that, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” looks to offer an actual conclusion to James Gunn’s iteration of the “Guardians” — and if Gunn’s track record is any indicator, he will absolutely deliver on that guarantee (and all the tears and heartbreak that comes along with it). It’s why Dave Bautista has already gone ahead and thrown down the gauntlet, swearing he will never play Drax again and risk ruining the “perfect exit” Gunn crafted for him:
“We all had those perfect character arcs and such a storybook ending. I constantly relate it to the way I ended my wrestling career. I ended it on a storybook note. And I would never go back and tarnish that. And it’s the same with this. With Drax, I just got to end the perfect way. And I would never sign up for another job as Drax just to get a paycheck. I would tarnish that [perfect ending], and I won’t do it.”
By now, superhero movie actors know to never say never when it comes to reprising their fan-favorite Marvel and DC counterparts, regardless of the way they left things in their last time at bat. But in Bautista’s case, I’m inclined to believe him. He seems genuinely committed to putting his money where his mouth is, even when that means giving up on a project he was personally campaigning for just because it doesn’t feel right to him, creatively. As I said earlier, he’s the real deal.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will open in theaters on May 5, 2023.