James Gunn reveals the hidden meaning behind Drax's tattoos in Guardians of the Galaxy

(Image credit: Marvel)

James Gunn has recently revealed a few things that were cut from the first Guardians of the Galaxy. First, there was a brief scene that would have extended a joke made by Quill about how he comes from a planet filled with the universe's mightiest outlaws – Billy the Kid and Bonnie & Clyde. 

Now the director has revealed another segment that didn't quite make the final cut. Writing on Instagram, Gunn addressed how the tattoos took hours of make-up work to apply to Dave Bautista. In short, applying the make-up for the first movie took longer than in Vol. 2, as the team started using a form-fitting "shirt" for the second movie that featured all the tattoos on it. This even helped in post-production, where the visual artists didn't have to help change the tattoos on Drax that had faded due to Bautista's own sweat. 

"Another fun fact," Gunn writes. "A cool scene I cut from the first film shows that Drax’s tattoos are not about his conquests, but about the memories he has with his family: his mother and father in his childhood, his marriage to his wife, his daughter being born. These things are all in the specific design of the tattoos/scarification."

It's certainly would have been interesting to see the origins of Drax's tattoos, and the sequence doesn't sound anywhere near as laborious as some other tattoo origin stories (looking at you, Lost). Meanwhile, Gunn is hard working on The Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, part of Marvel Phase 4

Jack Shepherd
Senior Entertainment Editor

I'm the Senior Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features. Plus I look after the Total Film and SFX sections and socials media channels. I used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film