If critical and audience reception of the film is any indication, then most of us will agree that Dave Bautista truly killed it in his performance as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy. But in the months before Bautista signed on for the role, Marvel Studios was actually looking at someone else for the role: Jason Momoa. One can't say how the presence of the Game of Thrones actor may have changed the movie - for better or for worse - but what is interesting is that today we have a much clearer idea of what he would have looked like in character:
The Tweet above comes from Marvel Studios concept artist Andy Park, who has been posting a ton of never-before-seen Guardians of the Galaxy early artwork since the movie arrived in theaters. During the film's pre-production, most of his time was spent working on the look for Gamora, but he has shown some of his designs for Nebula as well. Now we know that he was also assigned to work on Drax at one point, and it would seem it was at a time before Jason Momoa decided to reject the part (circa February 2013) and let it go to Dave Bautista (who signed on in March 2013).
So why dd the Conan the Barbarian star decide to turn down Guardians of the Galaxy, which has been named the biggest movie of 2014? Apparently, it was just something that Momoa wasn't interested in pursuing after recently doing what he perceived to be character stuff along the same lines. In an interview earlier this year, the actor said that he didn't turn Marvel down because Drax was a bad part, but because he was tired of taking his shirt off, getting "colored up," and not saying much. Looking at the concept art above, one can understand his concern, though I now wonder if he doesn't regret his ultimate decision.
Of course, it doesn't sound like it's going to be long before we actually get to see Jason Momoa in a comic book movie. We've been hearing for months that the Game of Thrones actor is DC Comics and Warner Bros' choice to play Aquaman in the DC Cinematic Universe, and it's been said that the character could wind up making his first live-action big screen appearance in Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is currently in production. Momoa has evaded questions about the casting for months, presumably because he's under contract to keep it a secret, but sources and reports have suggested that a deal has been made.
Do you like the concept art version of Drax you see above, or do you prefer the look Dave Bautista ended up rocking in the final version of Guardians of the Galaxy? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.