Dave Bautista – a WWE wrestler now best know for his leading role in Guardians of the Galaxy – has reportedly been cast as a villainous henchman in the next James Bond film. This rumour follows recent reports that the French Léa Seydoux has been cast as the upcoming film’s female lead.
In his profession as a sportsman, Bautista has claimed six world championship titles including World Heavyweight and WWE Championships, however has recently also taken acting roles including Brass Body in The Man with the Iron Fists (2012) and Diaz in Riddick (2013). His self-professed dream of acting in a Marvel superhero film was realised when he was cast as Drax The Destroyer in the studio’s blockbuster this summer – heartwarmingly, a role at which he cried upon receiving.
Physically imposing, Bautista does fit the casting call released earlier this year which called for ‘an imposing, extremely physically fit actor…possibly from a sports background’. Despite this lack of film or theatrical background, he was widely praised for both the humour and emotional depth that he brought to the otherwise inhuman role. His character brought raw brutality to his action sequences that contrasted the sleek, high tech setting. On numerous occasions this very same praise has been directed to Daniel Craig’s ‘thug-like’ interpretation of Bond, and an antagonist sharing these qualities would be an interesting change to those of recent films in the franchise and instead hark back to Richard Kiel’s portrayal of henchman Jaws.
The upcoming film will represent the 24th canonical Bond film, and will be Craig’s fourth out of five contracted performances in the role, following the success of 2012’s Skyfall.
Already confirmed to return in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 alongside the rest of the main cast – Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel – it is clear that both critics and audiences alike recognise Bautista’s acting potential, and should these rumours prove true it would be hoped he is able to bring the acting talent he has previously shown to this new role.
The as of yet untitled upcoming James Bond film will begin filming December 2014, and will be released by MGM and Columbia Pictures in October 2015.