Guardians Of The Galaxy: 5 Actors Considered To Play Drax ...
When most directors are tapped by Marvel to helm an entry in the MCU, they only have to cast one lead — Tony Stark or Steve Rogers or Thor or whoever’s at the center of that movie — but James Gunn had the unique challenge of casting an entire team for Guardians of the Galaxy. He paired up with Marvel’s casting guru Sarah Finn to choose the ideal actors to portray the Guardians.
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Two roles that proved particularly difficult to cast were Drax the Destroyer, who’s characterized by a curious blend of brute force and deadpan humor, and Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon whose actor needed a distinctive voice to carry the vocal work. Dave Bautista and Bradley Cooper turned out to be perfect for the roles, but they weren’t the producers’ first choices.
10 Drax: Jason Momoa
The role of Drax was offered to Jason Momoa before Marvel broadened its search and began auditioning actors for the part. Momoa turned down the job because he didn’t want to be typecast in action-oriented roles.
Of course, the actor ended up getting locked into an action-oriented role when Zack Snyder cast him as Aquaman in the DCEU, but he seems to be having a lot of fun with the character.
9 Rocket: Adam Sandler
One of the first actors James Gunn and Guardians’ casting team considered for the role of Rocket was Adam Sandler. Sandler did a more overstated version of Rocket’s accent in That’s My Boy.
Many fans have commented since the consideration of Sandler was revealed that he might’ve ruined the movie, but he’s an undeniably funny actor and he’s proven with roles in Punch-Drunk Love, The Meyerowitz Stories, and Uncut Gems that he can deftly handle nuance when he tries.
8 Drax: Shad Gaspard
Before Dave Bautista was cast as Drax, the producers auditioned another actor who used to wrestle in the WWE: Shad Gaspard. Gaspard provided the motion capture for Kratos in the 2018 edition of God of War.
Tragically, Gaspard passed away earlier this year when he and his son were pulled into a rip current and he told the lifeguards to save his son first.
7 Rocket: H. Jon Benjamin
During pre-production on Guardians of the Galaxy, the casting team pretty much considered every comedically gifted actor with a distinctive voice for the role of Rocket. Among those actors was H. Jon Benjamin.
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Benjamin could’ve added playing Rocket to a résumé that already includes Bob Belcher and Sterling Archer, but the producers went in another direction with the character.
6 Drax: Djimon Hounsou
Djimon Hounsou, who previously voiced Black Panther in a short-lived 2010 animated series, was one of the actors who auditioned to play Drax before the casting team found their ideal choice in Dave Bautista.
While he didn’t land the part of Drax, Hounsou was given the role of Korath the Pursuer in Guardians of the Galaxy, a role that he went on to reprise in the ’90s-set MCU prequel Captain Marvel.
5 Rocket: David Tennant
David Tennant was one of the actors considered to voice Rocket before Bradley Cooper was cast. He would eventually join the MCU in the role of Kilgrave in the Netflix series Jessica Jones.
It’s unclear if Tennant would’ve played Rocket in his native Scottish accent or if he would’ve affected the character’s Cockney accent from the comics.
4 Drax: Brian Patrick Wade
Brian Patrick Wade auditioned to play Drax before Dave Bautista was cast. Wade certainly has the physique to pull off the character, but perhaps not the depth. He played the Alpha Werewolf Ennis on Teen Wolf and Captain Schwetje in Generation Kill.
He is perhaps best known to a wide audience as Kurt, one of Penny’s only love interests prior to Leonard in The Big Bang Theory.
3 Rocket: Jim Carrey
Hot off of withdrawing himself from promoting Kick-Ass 2 in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, Jim Carrey was one of the first actors considered to play Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy.
RELATED: Jim Carrey: 5 Family-Friendly Movies (& 5 Surprisingly Dark Ones)
Carrey actually got his start in a comic book movie, 1994’s The Mask, while he tried out voice acting in the animated 2008 adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic Horton Hears a Who!, so he might’ve been right at home in the role of Rocket.
2 Drax: Chadwick Boseman
Prior to the casting of Dave Bautista, the late Chadwick Boseman was one of the actors who auditioned to play Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy.
While he probably would’ve made a great Drax with plenty of nuance, it’s probably for the best that Boseman wasn’t cast because it would’ve prevented him from inspiring a generation in his eventual Marvel role as T’Challa.
1 Rocket: Danny DeVito
Danny DeVito was considered for the voice of Rocket. Whereas Bradley Cooper has brought a New York accent to the typically Cockney character, DeVito would’ve brought his thick New Jersey accent to the role.
Interestingly, DeVito’s Always Sunny co-star Glenn Howerton was under serious consideration for the role of Peter Quill, so the dynamic of Dennis and Frank Reynolds could’ve come to the MCU.
NEXT: MCU: 5 Actors Considered To Play Iron Man (& 5 For Captain America)
NextRetro-Cast: Casting The Star Wars Prequels In The 1970sAbout The Author
Ben Sherlock is a writer, comedian, and independent filmmaker. He writes lists for Screen Rant and features and reviews for Game Rant, covering Mando, Melville, Mad Max, and more. He's currently in pre-production on his first feature film, and has been for a while because filmmaking is expensive. In the meantime, he's also in pre-production on various short films. Previously, he wrote for Taste of Cinema, Comic Book Resources, and BabbleTop. You can catch him performing standup at odd pubs around the UK that will give him stage time.
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