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Why Jason Momoa Turned Down the Role of Drax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

WESTWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 02:  Jason Momoa attends the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" at Regency Village Theatre on February 2, 2019 in Westwood, California.  (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)
Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" - Arrivals | Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

Since taking the roles of Aquaman and Khal Drogo, Jason Momoa has become well known in the world of TV and movies--but, as it turns out, there were times that he nearly became an even greater fixture. As the actor has revealed, he once turned down the role of Drax in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.

In a 2014 interview with Zap2It (via IGN), Momoa shared that he appreciated the role, but didn’t want to pigeonhole himself by taking it. “Dave [Bautista] is perfect for that role, for Drax,” he said. “It didn't really fit in my time because I've done so many things where I don't say much and I'm colored up and I have my shirt off again. I made a conscious choice to turn down some movies that were action-based to direct Road to Paloma so people could see that side.”

Momoa was also sure to clarify that he had nothing against the part itself, saying, “It's not that it's not a good role, it just wasn't the right thing.”

This choice appears to have been fortuitous for Momoa. After writing and directing thriller Road to Paloma, he took the more nuanced role of Aquaman in the DC Extended Universe and will appear in acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve’s rendition of Dune.

While it would’ve been interesting to see Momoa as Drax, we’re glad that things worked out the way they did--Momoa gets to be happy, and we get Bautista’s inspired performance as the mutate.