WWE Star Dave Bautista Joins Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Movie Talk

Remember that thing we said last month about "Game of Thrones" alum Jason Momoa being cast in "Guardians of the Galaxy"? Yeah, forget all of that -- it's actually WWE wrestler and mixed martial artist Dave Bautista who has signed on to the unofficial biggest hard-sell of Marvel's Phase Two Films.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" follows the adventures of American astronaut Peter Quill, the son of an alien father and human mother who is reinvented as 'Star-Lord' when he joins up with a team of strange superheroes from another dimension: Drax the Destroyer, a slain human resurrected as a green warrior with the sole purpose of killing Thanos (the mystery character in the scene before the shawarma bit in "The Avengers"); Groot, a giant walking, talking tree; Rocket Raccoon, a genetically engineered animal with a love for guns n' bombs; and Gamora, the sole surviving member of a race of peace-loving humanoid aliens whose seemingly contradictory assassin abilities have earned her the title of The Deadliest Woman in the Universe.

[Related: 'Ant-Man' and 'Doctor Strange' will lead the charge for Marvel's Phase Three]

Dave Bautista will be playing the role of -- you guessed it -- Drax the Destroyer, a part for which it seemed like Jason Momoa was all but locked. Apparently, Bautista has been in the mix for the character since late last year, along with Isaiah Mustafa and Patrick Wade, and is now officially the second actor to sign on for the project, joining "Parks and Recreation" star Chris Pratt as Quill/Star-Lord.

Dave Bautista has been a professional wrestler since the turn of the century, best known for his time with WWE Entertainment, where he performed under the ring name "Batista" and aligned himself with wrestling veteran Ric Flair. He only recently segued into the world of acting, appearing as Argomael in the direct-to-video (and Dwayne Johnson-less) "The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption" (2012) and as Brass Body in RZA's "The Man with the Iron Fists" (2012). He'll be seen later this year facing off with Vin Diesel in "Riddick," opening September 6.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" will hit theaters on August 1, 2014 as the final Phase Two Marvel film before "The Avengers" reunite in May 2015.

[Related: 'Game of Thrones' alum Jason Momoa recruited for Marvel’s 'Guardians of the Galaxy']

See Dave Bautista in action in 'The Man With the Iron Fists' character trailer below...