Guardians Of The Galaxy’s James Gunn Explains Why The Movies Changed Drax’s Backstory

Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

As most Marvel fans know, there’s bound to be differences between the movie and comic book version of a character. We’ve seen debates pop up for years, from Adam Warlock's preeminent debut to the changes amongst the Eternals. Of course, one character who’s changed a lot from page to screen is Guardian of the Galaxy’s Drax. He went from a human being to a full-blown alien in the MCU films, and while some fans haven’t been bothered by his most obvious change, others have been a little more vocal about their displeasure. As with any fanbase, Guardians director James Gunn has read all the messages and broken down why MCU Drax’s backstory is different from the comic books.

Drax the Destroyer is a fan-favorite, but his backstory has been a source of confusion for some faithful comics fans. That’s what happened when someone asked Gunn why the character’s backstory was applied to his alien form rather than his original human form. James Gunn subsequently explained on Twitter why the story changed for the film version, as you'll see below:

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James Gunn's reasoning made sense. The MCU director wanted his cast to be from diverse levels of society (and the galaxy). Plus, he based his Guardians team on the 2008 version of the comics rather than the original Guardians. At that point in the alien strongman’s story, his origin story had changed more than a few times, so this version of Drax was the one audience got to see on the big screen. That team was just a group of distinct species coming together to take on Thanos and his henchmen, so alien Drax made sense.

Drax started out in the comics as human Arthur Douglas, whose family was killed after seeing Thanos’ spaceship in the desert. His soul was transferred into his current body and renamed Drax the Destroyer. While the killing is a common thread between both iterations, moviegoers catch up with him as a prisoner set on killing Ronan the Accuser. In print, he was created to capture and kill Thanos for the betterment of the universe. So the similarities and differences aren’t too far off from his Marvel beginnings.

While viewers haven’t seen the alien superhero and his crew since Avengers: Endgame, they’re about to get their fill of the team over the next year. Things will kick off when he and the Guardians pop up in Thor: Love and Thunder, which arrives in theaters on July 8 (there's a peek at them in the first Love and Thunder trailer). They will return to the big screen after that for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which hits theaters in May 2023.

Additionally, the group will star in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which will premiere on Disney+ in December 2022 and James Gunn has described as the "greatest thing" he's ever done. Along with these releases, there are a plethora of upcoming Marvel movies and Marvel TV shows arriving in 2022 and beyond.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).