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Dave Bautista Is Ready To Be The World Champion Of Directors


Exclusive: Dave Bautista, who stars in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, expresses his desire to level up to become a “world champion” director.

Dave Bautista has opened up about his film ambitions, revealing that he is ready become a director. Bautista stars in the upcoming zombie heist action film, Army of the Dead, from Zack Snyder. Army of the Dead was released in select theaters and will be available to stream on Netflix on May 21. 

Bautista made a name for himself as a professional wrestler in WWE for nearly a decade beginning in 2002. His past as a bodybuilder trained in mixed martial arts led him to great success as a wrestler, breaking records and becoming a six-time world champion. During his tenure with WWE, Bautista began to increase his talents, venturing into acting with early titles such as Werner Herzog’s 2009 film, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? and RZA’s (of the Wu-Tang Clan) 2012 martial arts film, The Man with the Iron Fists. After a final WWE bout ending in an appearance in WrestleMania35 in 2019, Bautista officially retired from wrestling. He has spent the past few years mainly focusing on his acting career, becoming a household name, especially due to his induction into the MCU in 2014 as Drax from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. 

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Related: Why Army Of The Dead’s Zombie King Will Be Key To Snyder’s Shared Universe

However, in a recent interview with Screen Rant, Bautista opened up about graduating from acting to directing. The former bodybuilder explains that his experience in wrestling has taught him how to be a diligent student of the experts around him, spending his time throughout his acting career, actively learning from the best in the business and becoming comfortable with the filming process. Now, Bautista could see himself directing great films and becoming the “world champion.” Additionally, he points out that, contrary to what many would assume, he doesn’t want to do big action epics, but more intimate dramatic films. Read what Bautista said below:

Dave Bautista: Yeah, absolutely. I feel that. Right now in my career, I feel confident that I could direct a film. I have goals, and I don’t want to do big epic films. I want to do very contained, dramatic, and inspiring films. That’s always what I’ve wanted to do. But now I feel confident that I’ve learned enough, and that I know enough about the process.

Obviously, I don’t know every technical aspect. But I feel confident that I could sit in a director’s chair right now, and if I had a solid script and a solid cast, I could make one hell of a movie. I just think I’m at that point where I’ve just learned from the best; I’ve absorbed it. I’ve been a student.

And it was the same in wrestling. I learned from the best, and I picked their brain, and I took advantage of those guys in a way that a lot of people are missing out on. I wanted to learn things; I wanted to learn the process of professional wrestling and why it was an art. It’s the same thing with films, and I’ve done the same thing. And I feel like, right now if given the opportunity, I could be world champion.

Dave Bautista and Zack Snyder on the set of Army of the Dead

In the meantime, Bautista has continued to further his acting career with various roles, including his beloved role as Drax in the MCU, which is about to come to an end. He announced that after the upcoming third installment in the franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, he is retiring the Drax character. Vol. 3 would make Bautista’s sixth appearance as Drax, including the long awaited next installment of Thor, Thor: Love and Thunder. Additionally, Bautista has just been cast in Knives Out 2, the sequel to Rian Johnson’s critically acclaimed mystery film, Knives Out. In Knives Out 2, which will release on Netflix, Bautista will star alongside Daniel Craig, who is reprising his role as the astute detective, Benoit Blanc, and the newly cast Edward Norton. 

Bautista’s ambitions fall in line with most every high-profile actor in Hollywood who has gone on to direct their own projects. He shines in a variety of works from sci-fi such as Blade Runner 2049 to comedy like My Spy, making him a great candidate to direct a swath of different films. As Bautista says himself, a lot of his success would be on, first, being given the opportunity, and second, finding a great script and assembling a great cast. But, if anyone can do it, Drax the Destroyer can. 

More: Every Upcoming Dave Bautista Movie & TV Show

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