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Ever since stepping away from WWE for the first time back in 2010, Dave Bautista (who wrestled under the name Batista) has gone on to have one of the best acting careers out of anyone who has made a name for themselves as a professional wrestler. Sure, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and John Cena may have Bautista beat in name recognition, but the Guardians of the Galaxy, Blade Runner 2049, and Stuber star has proven time and time again that his dynamic range and charisma aren't exclusive to the squared circle, and is often the best part of the movies in which he's featured.
And the 51-year-old former bouncer-turned-wrestler doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon; perhaps making up for lost time after getting his Hollywood career started later in life. In the next year or so, Dave Bautista will appear in a highly-anticipated adaptation of a classic work of science fiction and lead a team in Zack Snyder's return to the zombie genre, but that doesn't even include the action star's return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Before we get all excited and fall down a rabbit hole of Drax the Destroyer's best lines and funniest moments, let's take a look at Dave Bautista's upcoming movies and TV shows.
Dune - December 18, 2020
Denis Villeneuve's upcoming adaptation of the epic science fiction novel Dune is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, and with a classic story, a star-studded cast, and what appears to be a massive budget (as seen in the film's trailer), it looks like it will be worthy of the long wait. The most recent big-screen version of Frank Herbert's landmark novel centers around the struggle to control "the spice" on the desert planet Arrakis and a generations-long battle between two rival houses. In the film, Dave Bautista plays Glossue Rabban, the oversized and violent nephew of Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård), the sworn enemy of Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac). With no body hair and milky-white skin, Bautista's brute looks like a force to reckon with.
The most recent incarnation of Dune was first announced in May 2018 when director Denis Villeneuve secured a two-film deal with Warner Bros. with each movie focusing on one half of the original source material. Originally slated to hit theaters ahead of Thanksgiving on November 20, 2020, the studio made the decision in August 2019 to push the release back nearly a month to December 18, 2020. And with a new trailer and a lot of buzz surrounding its release, prepare to see Dune this holiday season.
Army Of The Dead - TBD
It has been a long time since Zack Snyder made a zombie movie — 16 years to be exact — but the director of 2004's Dawn of the Dead remake will soon have another undead thriller under his belt when Army of the Dead debuts on Netflix at some point in the near future. The movie, which follows a group of mercenaries who attempt to carry out an epic heist in Las Vegas in the middle of a zombie outbreak, is being led by Dave Bautista, Garret Dillahunt, Tig Notaro, Theo Rossi, and several others. Bautista will serve as the leader of a team of assembled former soldiers to pull off "the greatest heist ever attempted."
The release of Army of the Dead has been a long time coming. First announced back in 2007, the film was initially supposed to be distributed by Warner Bros. but the property seemed to be dead and buried for more than a decade before Netflix decided to see what Zack Snyder's new zombie was all about back in January 2019. Production started later that year with Snyder signing on to direct his first movie since stepping away from Justice League in May 2017 following the death of his daughter.
It looked like Army of the Dead would be available for streaming in 2020 before it was announced that Chris D'Elia was removed from the project following allegations of sexual misconduct and replaced by Tig Notaro in August. The quick replacement required a quick round of reshoots in order to insert Notaro into scenes that once featured D'Elia through CGI technology and other techniques in order to make the insertion look seamless. There is no information on a release date or how Netflix will approach the release with Zack Snyder's Justice League set to be released in September 2021.
See - Season 2 - TBD
The Apple TV+ original series See may not be the best received new show to come out in the past couple of years, but that doesn't mean it's the worst series to be released during that timeframe either. With a cast that includes former Game of Thrones star and the man behind the latest version of Aquaman, Jason Momoa, the incomparable Alfre Woodard, and several other heavy hitters, the science fiction drama series about a blind human race is fairly unique concept with a lot of potential moving forward. One way of helping the show gain some traction is the casting of Dave Bautista in Season 2 of See. The news was first announced by Deadline in January 2020, who reported that this will be the first major TV acting gig for the former WWE superstar.
Production on Season 2 of See was supposed to get underway in early 2020, but like every other major film and television production around the world, principal photography was postponed in March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from Variety. There is no word on when production will pick back up for the Apple TV+ series, so it's hard to say when it will return to the streaming platform. With that being said, we'll have to see how Jason Momoa and Dave Bautista interact in Dune later this year until the two meet up in See at some point in the future.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 - TBD
Dave Bautista was already an international superstar in the world of professional wrestling when he was cast as Drax the Destroyer in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, but every door in Hollywood was opened for the actor after stealing pretty much every scene in James Gunn's origin story of the ragtag group of outcasts in their quest to save the universe from Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). Bautista followed up the performance three more times with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, with his mastery of the character getting better with each subsequent movie. All of that makes waiting for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 that much harder.
Not a lot is known about James Gunn's third Guardians movie, but there's certainly a lot to look forward to after this extended wait. With the way things ended for the Guardians at the end of 2019's Endgame (Asgardians of the Galaxy, anyone?), not to mention the big tease at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with Elizabeth Debicki's Ayesha creating an artificial being that may or may not be Adam Warlock, there's a lot that can happen when the movie is released at some point in the coming years.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was originally supposed to arrive in 2020 but with James Gunn's firing by Disney after some of the director's old tweets resurfaced and his subsequent hiring by DC for 2021's The Suicide Squad, everything got pushed back. Gunn was eventually re-hired by Disney to direct the third Guardians entry, but production won't start until after he's completed his work on The Suicide Squad. The Hollywood Reporter previously reported that production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would start at some point in 2020, and that may still be in the plan, especially after Gunn shot down a rumor that the movie was being delayed in August 2020.
Groove Tails - ?
And there there is the Jamie Foxx animated family comedy Groove Tails, which centers around the world of competitive street dancing competitions, but with one catch: all of the dancers are mice. According to a Deadline report from the time of the film's 2015 announcement, Foxx, who is also serving as a producer, will play Biggz, a mouse with money problems who hopes to clean up the streets from a group of alley cats. The publication reported in 2017 that Dave Bautista would be lending his voice to multiple roles in the animated comedy. Unfortunately, there haven't been any updates on the status of the project in a few years, so it remains to be seen if this one will come to fruition.
Those are all of Dave Bautista's upcoming film and TV projects, but with someone of his caliber, it's only a matter of time before the former WWE superstar takes on something new. Who knows, maybe Bautista will get his wish and finally get to play Bane in a DC movie at some point.