If Dave Bautista joins the cast of Suicide Squad 2, which DC character should he play? When the bombshell dropped that James Gunn was hired to write (and possibly even direct) the next Suicide Squad film, Bautista was among the first to not only tweet his support but he literally volunteered to sign up! For months, the former WWE Champion has been one of Gunn's most vocal and loyal supporters, repeatedly taking Disney to task for their decision to fire Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. It's now a distinct possibility that Bautista could indeed leave Marvel behind and follow his friend into the DC Extended Universe.
Before Warner Bros. announced their acquisition of James Gunn, Suicide Squad 2's original plans were mired in developmental hell. The director originally slated, Gavin O'Connor, left the film over creative conflicts with the studio. Enter Gunn, who took a little-known Marvel comic about misfits in outer space and turned it into a mega-popular billion-dollar film franchise. Obviously, WB hopes lightning will strike again, this time giving the filmmaker free-reign to reconceive Suicide Squad as he sees fit, and fans are chomping at the bit to see what Gunn will decide to do and which villains he will utilize. WB turning Gunn loose on Suicide Squad 2 is especially ironic considering the studio unsuccessfully tried to turn David Ayer's original Suicide Squad into a Guardians clone. However, many fans feel Suicide Squad and the DCU's motley collection of supervillains is actually a better fit for Gunn's talents than Guardians of the Galaxy ever was.
Meanwhile, Bautista admittedly owes his rising star in Hollywood to Gunn casting him as the musclebound and literal-minded Drax. When the writer-director truly made Guardians his own, Gunn's unique sensibilities drew out Bautista's inherent charisma and comedic chops. Together, they made Drax into one of the most beloved characters in the MCU. Hopefully, they would bring that same magic to the DCEU if Dave Bautista does sign on to become one of the Worst Heroes Ever.
Bautista has also made no bones about his displeasure with Disney, which has led to speculation about Drax's future in the MCU after Avengers 4. If Batista does sign up with the Suicide Squad, this would be an incredible double-whammy acquisition for DC. Bautista is reportedly still contracted for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which could impede him joining the Suicide Squad. Still, other actors have crossed the aisle before; for example, James Marsden appeared in both X-Men: The Last Stand and Superman Returns in 2006, so it's not impossible for Bautista. But if it does happen, the question is which DC baddie would be best for Dave Bautista? Here are some possibilities.
Bane is probably the fan-favorite choice for Dave Bautista to play. As the man who broke Batman's back, Bane is an A-list supervillain whose imposing physical characteristics are ideally suited to Bautista. He wouldn't be the first former pro-wrestler to play Bane either; the late Jeep Swenson acted as the muscle for Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) as the cartoonish Bane in 1997's Batman & Robin. And, of course, Tom Hardy reconceived Bane as a strategic-minded bruiser (with an unforgettably unique voice) in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises, which elevated Bane's status even higher among Batman's villains.
If Gunn does bring Bane into his story, he will likely not repeat what Christopher Nolan did with the villain, and this could mean going back to the comics and depicting Bane as a South American ex-convict addicted to Venom, a serum that enhances his strength to superhuman levels. This would create a new challenge for Bautista that's a far cry from the loveable but dim-witted Drax but still within his wheelhouse: Bautista is perfect for an evil, tactical mastermind whose master plans are as dangerous as his superpowered fists. Gunn/Bautista's Bane could also wear a luchador mask as he does in the comics, which would be a fun way for Bautista to harken back to his WWE tag team with the high-flying luchador Rey Mysterio.
If Gunn is putting together a new cast of villains for Suicide Squad 2, he may abandon Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnoye-Agbaje) and go with a different man-monster: King Shark. The terrifying half-man/half-shark has been a mainstay in the recent run of Suicide Squad comics and has been a memorable guest villain on The CW's The Flash. Bautista already brings King Shark's imposing physical stature to the table but he could also turn the aquatic hybrid into an actual character for audiences to relate to. As King Shark, Bautista may want to really sink his teeth into playing the cannibalistic serial killer, and Gunn as the writer would likely be happy to oblige.
As a former WWE Superstar and mixed martial artist, Dave Bautista is no stranger to action or fight scenes in his movie roles. Therefore, he could nicely fit the role of Bronze Tiger, one of the best martial artists in the DC Universe, whose deadly fighting skills even rival Batman's. Bronze Tiger's real name is Benjamin Turner and he was a staple of the Suicide Squad comics of the 1980s. In adaptations, he has been a featured supervillain on The CW's Arrow where he was played by Michael Jai White, and also appeared in the DC Animated Universe - but has yet to make his live-action film debut.
Bronze Tiger is a fascinating character in the comics as he was once hired to take down the League of Assassins, but was captured and mind-controlled by Ra's al Ghul into joining the League. Gunn could possibly run with these comic book influences, having Bautista embrace the challenge of playing an assassin haunted by and trying to atone for his past. Though Bronze Tiger is traditionally African-American, the half-Filipino/half-Greek Bautista could make the role his own.