Dave Bautista: Marvel responds to Guardians of the Galaxy actor’s Disney claim about What If...? involvement

Show’s executive producer says there was a ‘miscommunication’

Jacob Stolworthy
Friday 13 August 2021 10:58 BST
What If...? official trailer

Marvel has responded to Dave Bautista’s recent claim about Disney.

The actor, who plays Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), recently said he was not asked to voice his character in new animated seriesWhat If...? on Disney Plus.

In the series, popular Marvel characters are shown in alternate Marvel plots to their live-action counterparts. The majority of actors returned to voice their roles for the series.

What If...? executive producer Brad Winderbaum has since cast doubt on Bautista’s claim, stating that every Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was asked to play their respective character “in some way, shape or form, either through their agents or directly”.

When asked about Bautista’s comment by Variety, Winderbaum said: “I saw that, too. I don’t know really what happened behind the scenes there, but certainly, we would have loved for him to be in the show. So there’s probably some miscommunication somewhere.”

In response to an inquisitive fan on Twitter who asked: “Hey, Dave!! Why won't you be voicing Drax on #WhatIf?”, Bautista replied: “Let’s start with I was never asked.”

James Gunn, who directed Bautista as Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy films, was clearly shocked by the news, simply commenting underneath: “What.”

Dave Bautista claims he wasn’t asked to reprise ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ role in ‘What If...?’ (Twitter)

Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson also won’t be returning to voice their roles of Iron Man, Captain America and Black Widow, respectively, but their absence is more expected considering their time as part of the MCU is over.

Bautista’s lack of involvement could be attributed to the fact that Drax has a minimal role in the series and the studio did not want to pay the actor a large fee. However, Bautista’s comment suggests the studio failed to discuss the project with him in any capacity.

The Independent contacted Bautista and Disney for comment.

Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (Marvel Studios)

Last month, Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney over the studio’s simultaneous release of her standalone film Black Widow in cinemas and on Disney Plus.

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The studio responded by stating that Johansson’s lawsuit had “no merit” in a heavily-criticised statement that disclosed the actor’s salary. Bautista was Johansson’s only Marvel co-star to comment on the situation.

He quipped that Disney should have made a Drax standalone film instead, which led to a divisive reaction among fans.

What If...? is released weekly on Disney Plus.

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