It’s no secret that actor Dave Bautista really, really wants to play Marcus Fenix in a Gears of War movie, but it may not be entirely clear just how bad he wants it. In an interview with Collider, Bautista says that he turned down an offer from Universal to play a role in a Fast & The Furious movie in order to promote a Gears of War adaptation.
“I don’t make any pretense about it,” Bautista said. “I had a chance to get a meeting at WB, they were talking to me about this and that and I said ‘hey, let’s talk about Bane.’ That happened to me one other time in my career. They wanted to talk to me about Fast and the Furious, and I said ‘I’m not interested, let’s talk about [Gears of War character] Marcus Fenix.’”
Bautista later added that he thinks Universal was “a little put off,” but that he didn’t regret taking his shot.
“I don’t mean to offend anybody,” Bautista said. “I’m not putting down anything else, I’m just saying [Gears] is way more interesting to me. I don’t want to pretend like I’m actually interested in something I’m not when there’s something I’m actually really excited about that you guys have under control. ‘Would you consider me for that?’ I don’t think there’s any harm in that. I’m not trying to step on anybody else’s toes, I’m just saying like this is what I love and I’m seriously passionate about this. ‘I can do a good job for you guys on this.’”
The Gears of War movie has wallowed in development hell since 2007, with writers coming and going from the project until ownership transferred over to Universal. Bautista has lobbied for the position of the COG soldier Marcus Fenix for so long that the actor was actually added to Gears 5 as a playable multiplayer character.
While the Gears of War movie shows no recent signs of life, it can’t be understated that turning down a Fast & The Furious job simply to badger Universal again is no small decision. The Fate of the Furious surpassed $1 billion at the box office as of mid-2017, and F9 stars one of Bautista’s old WWE coworkers John Cena in a starring role as the brother of Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto.