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Dave Bautista Joins Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ as Drax the Destroyer

Former WWE star and MMA fighter lands his biggest role to date

When Dave Bautista left WWE in 2010, movies were on his mind — after a brief stint as a mixed martial arts fighter, that is.

Now the athlete who recently co-starred in “The Man With the Iron Fists,” has landed his biggest role to date: Drax the Destroyer in Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Role won’t be much of a stretch.

Drax is a former human whose spirit is resurrected in the powerful body of a green-skinned warrior with enhanced strength and the ability to blast energy from his hands. He’s intent on killing Thanos after his family was killed by the Marvel supervillain.

In RZA’s “Man with the Iron Fists,” Bautista played another brute, Brass Body.

James Gunn is directing “Guardians,” a space-set actioner featuring an ensemble of superheroes that will make their bigescreen appearance Aug. 1, 2014.

Chris Pratt already had been cast as Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord. Other characters include tree-creature Groot, gun-toting Rocket Raccoon and Gamora.

Bautista will also appear in “Riddick,” out Sept. 6, from Universal. His other credits include direct-to-homevid title “The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption.”

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