Why Dave Bautista Had to Wear A 'Shirt' to Play Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

By Pierre Chanliau Updated:
Angry Drax next to Drax facing away showing back tattoos

Fans will have to wait quite a while until they can see the Guardians of the Galaxy on the big screen again, and not just because of the coronavirus outbreak. Director James Gunn has said that production won't begin until he has completely wrapped up with The Suicide Squad, which is planned to be released next year in August.

However, that hasn't stopped Gunn from giving fans additional information to keep them sated until then, such as continuing to interact with them and answering their questions like he did today about Drax.


After James Gunn posted an image on his Instagram story indicating that the makeup process for Dave Bautista's Drax was cut down from five hours in the original to just 90 minutes in the sequel, fans began to frantically ask him how they accomplished this.

He made a new post on his Instagram explaining the whole process and why they changed it from the first movie.

For Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the makeup company, Legacy, "created a sort of Drax “shirt” for his arms and upper body" which made the application quicker and look much better. He explains that while the makeup from the original Guardians of the Galaxy was "cool from the beginning" the method was impractical in the end, saying that "the separate pieces in the first film would swell with Dave’s sweat and start to crinkle so that his whole body looked like a Shar Pei."

This would result in the need for additional CG to cover it up in cleanup, something they didn't need in the sequel because of this new method. In fact, he continues to praise the "shirt" makeup, as it "is so incredibly thin and form-fitting we actually see way more of Dave’s body and muscles."

Additionally, James Gunn explained that a deleted scene from the first movie would have actually explained the backstory of Drax's tattoos. They would not be about any of his conquests, but "about the memories he has with his family," giving examples like "...his mother and father in his childhood, his marriage to his wife" and "his daughter being born."


It's amazing to see how they were able to so incredibly streamline Drax's makeup process, even making it look better in the end.

It's always interesting when James Gunn interacts with fans and answers their many, many questions. Along with continuing to talk about the work that went into both the first and second Guardians of the Galaxy movies, he loves to talk about the characters. It'd be interesting if Gunn decides to bring back that scraped scene explaining Drax's tattoos and puts it in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 since this will be the last time we see this team together, especially since one of them will likely die.

- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.