Marvel artist Charlie Wen reveals an early piece of concept art for Guardians of the Galaxy visualizing Jason Momoa as Drax the Destroyer. The former Game of Thrones star is currently enjoying the success of his first superhero standalone flick in James Wan's Aquaman where he plays Arthur Curry - a half-human/half-Atlantean and the rightful heir to the throne of the underwater world of Atlantis. But before he even debuted the role via a small cameo in Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016, Momoa was up for another comic book hero, but one from Marvel.
Debuting as part of James Gunn's band of cosmic heroes in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, Drax, like his teammates, quickly become a fan-favorite thanks to his dry humor and odd chemistry with the rest of the gang. So far, he's appeared in three MCU films, and despite disintegrating into dust after Thanos (Josh Brolin) wiped out half of life in the universe at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, he's expected to appear in this year's Avengers: Endgame and possibly the eventual Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The character, however, could've looked so much different if Wen's early design for Momoa made it on the big screen.
Taking it to his official Instagram account, Wen shared the concept art he did for the first Guardians of the Galaxy film imagining Momoa as Drax. The actor was in the running for the role when the artist drew the illustration, but the gig eventually landed in Dave Bautista's lap. In the end, things obviously worked out for Momoa after he eventually ended up playing Aquaman for DC. Check out the post below:
View this post on Instagram
Jason Momoa was almost Drax (before his #aquaman days;)! He also had a great audition that deftly displayed his toughness and double blades handles. But in short, Bautista was definitely the right choice— he had a perfect blend of natural quirk and braun😜. * This was an early sketch to explore the prospect of Momoa taking on the character. * The comicbook version was extremely close to another character that I designed called Kratos for #godofwar , so...I tried to steer Drax clear of it. @justinjsweet did the super cool final concept design for Drax! * * * * * #cinema #MarvelStudios #guardiansofthegalaxy #drax #JasonMomoa #charliewen #bts #moviemaking #filmmaking #filmcasting #conceptart #casting #marvel #castingcall #actor #characterdesign @prideofgypsies
At this point, it's difficult to imagine any other actors bringing Drax and Arthur to the big screen than Bautista and Momoa, respectively. The former brings a unique sense of humor to his character, making him a scene stealer despite limited screen time. And while some fans are frustrated over the fact that the MCU version of the hero has significantly deviated from his print counterpart, Bautista has been doing a good job portraying the role how they intend him to be. Sadly, his future as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy is currently in question following the controversy surrounding Gunn's firing last year.
Momoa, on the other hand, has become the modern embodiment of the King of Atlantis. His iteration has squashed the goofy image of Arthur Curry from comics and animated series, and even though fans have only seen him in a handful of films, it's safe to say that he'll be one of the faces of the DCEU considering the success of Aquaman. In hindsight, while he would've perfectly fit to play Drax's role had Marvel Studios stuck with his comic book characterization, it doesn't seem right to think of him having the dry humor that Bautista's version easily pulls off.
Source: Charlie Wen
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019