Jason Momoa Turned Down A Franchise Worth $1.6 Billion Because He Didn't Want To Take His Shirt Off Throughout The Film

Jason Momoa had no interest in playing a similar role that would show the actor shirtless for the majority of the film.

The Things
Prior to landing the role of Drax, Dave Bautista was in a tough spot, both financially and professionally. The aspiring actor at the time, had foreclosed on his home, and was struggling to find work in Hollywood. During his days with the WWE, his only notable role, was a minor part in Smallville.

Credit to Bautista, as the actor landed the role of Drax, one that changed his career. However, as we’ll reveal in the following, it wasn’t an easy journey.

In fact, Jason Momoa was initially attached to the role. We’ll take a look back at why the actor turned down the part. Momoa has faced body-shamers in the past, so perhaps this might’ve been yet another reason to pass on the prestigious role.

Let’s take a look back at how it all went down.

Jason Momoa Had A Blast Auditioning For Guardians Of The Galaxy Alongside Chris Pratt
Playing the role of Drax, Jason Momoa was initially attached to the project, alongside Chris Pratt. Momoa was the man for the role, and he would also read lines alongside Pratt. According to Momoa’s words alongside IGN, he had a blast with Pratt.

“One of the funnest auditions I’ve ever done in my life was with him. He’s phenomenal. He’s going to kill it,” Momoa said prior the the film’s release.

“It’s going to be amazing. It’s a whole Han Solo vibe. It’s going to be a phenomenal movie. I’m glad that he is the lead of that. He’s funny as hell, man. He can improv; he just acts circles around me. It was really, really fantastic.”

Jason Momoa was almost Drax in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Despite the positive experience at the audition, Jason ended up turning down the role. At the time, the actor had several other interests professionally. In addition, he wanted to prioritize family at the time of the role.

Jason Momoa Turned Down Guardians Of The Galaxy Given The Shirtless Scenes, Among Other Things
There were several reasons for Momoa turning down the role. The actor revealed that he thought Dave Bautista was perfect for the role. In terms of his goals at the time, Momoa wanted to focus on directing and in truth, he didn’t want another ‘shirtless’ role in an action film.

The actor told IGN, “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.”

A few other reasons for turning down the role included his schedule, which wouldn’t allow him to see his children. Jason would also reveal that the role of Drax was very similar to one he worked in the past on Stargate: Atlantis.

“I want my children to see their father happy. It’s not that it’s not a good role, it just wasn’t the right thing.”

He continued, “I was on Stargate: Atlantis for four years playing a similar character called Ronon, who was an alien who didn’t say much and grunted. I’ve been there and done that, whether people have seen it or not. You want to stretch.”

Given all these reasons, Momoa had no other choice but to pass on a project that would go on to make over $1 billion at the box office.

Dave Bautista Landed The Role Of Drax Instead And Was Completely Broke At The Time

It was a breakout role for Dave Bautista, starring as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy. In truth, the part could not have happened at a better time.

The actor was struggling at the time, making the transition from wrestling to acting. The roles weren’t coming his way, and the actor was going broke.

“I was really desperate at the time, I had hardly worked in three years, and I had gone broke from wrestling and I was desperate to get a job. I finally got an agent like two weeks before I got the audition for Guardians. My agent says ‘You know, I really had to fight to get you this audition.”

Despite a bumpy audition, which Dave admitted he was very nervous for, the actor got the part and proved to be the perfect man to portray Drax.