Guardian of the Galaxy’s David Bautista has taken on multiple roles since making a splash in the James Gunn-helmed film. While Bautista continues to build his resume, he still hasn’t tried the full range of film genres, mostly sticking to action, and fan casting for roles can be a double-edged sword for the actor. It’s been great for his superhero and action roles, but it may have blocked him from other opportunities. Bautista recently took issue with this practice on social media in a post that was mostly joke-y but not wrong.
Fan casting has become an integral part of the superhero genre over the past decade. Sometimes, fans are on point. Other times, their suggestions may be questionable or borderline offensive. A recent case saw a fan cast Dave Bautista as Green Lantern comrade Kilowog, a character with a pretty notable look.
That seemed to ruffle the actor a bit, leading to him speaking out on Twitter. Bautista hilariously responded:
Ok I know I’m not the best looking guy in the world but how come whenever I’m fan cast as a character it’s always one that’s ummmm.... aesthetically challenged?! This is probably why I can’t get that rom-com lead!
Despite his dislike for the Kilowog casting, I personally feel the fan’s suggestion of Dave Bautista for the role was on point. As the actor pointed out, he does match Killawog in terms of stature and overall aesthetic. But Bautista’s dreams of being the next rom-com king may be hindered by this sort of fan casting. Who wants to see Kilowog passionately kissing Charlize Theron or Sandra Bullock? So, I can see the actor’s point.
While Dave Bautista has his eyes on romantic comedies, to me, there’s an even bigger problem - the MCU-DCEU conflict. Really, Kilowog and Guardians of the Galaxy’s Drax are too close in look and body type for casual fans to tell the difference. Of course, the skin tone and Kilowog’s snot differentiate them. But the causal superhero might end up getting confused and not know what cinematic universe they’ve stepped into. And that’s a problem.
In all fairness, Dave Bautista jokingly spoke about an actual undercurrent in fan culture. Fans will pitch a certain actor or actress to play a certain character, but may end up disappointed when official casting news comes out. Bautista had a point in lamenting a bit over how fan casting is another form of typecasting, even if he said it lightheartedly. The actor doesn’t want to be trapped in the action and superhero genres forever. Of course, he's also been able to show a little more range as an actor with films such as Stuber and Prime Video's My Spy.
Whether he gets to be the next rom-com king or not, Dave Bautista made his feelings known about fan castings. But Bautista hasn’t completely turned his back on genre films with roles in Army of the Dead, Dune and another Marvel outing with Thor: Love and Thunder all on the way. Hopefully, he will get a chance to do more outside of genre films in the future.