While a recent report indicated that Disney is unlikely to rehire James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after firing him for offensive joke tweets from years ago, franchise cast members continue to be supportive and want him to return. Dave Bautista, who plays Drax, has probably been the most vocal on social channels, and he just gave some strong-worded quotes to ShortList.
“Nobody’s defending his tweets, but this was a smear campaign on a good man,” said Bautista. “I spoke to Chris Pratt the day after it happened and he’s a bit religious so he wanted time to pray and figure it out, but I was more like: f*ck this. This is bullsh*t. James is one of the kindest, most decent people I’ve met.”
When James Gunn was fired, he had already turned in the first draft of the script for the third installment. “Where I’m at right now is that if [Marvel] don’t use that script, then I’m going to ask them to release me from my contract, cut me out or recast me. I’d be doing James a disservice if I didn’t,” Bautista added.
He also said in a tweet that “Guardians without James Gunn is not what I signed up for.”
I will do what Im legally obligated to do but @Guardians without @JamesGunn is not what I signed up for. GOTG w/o @JamesGunn just isn’t GOTG. Its also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis . That’s just how I feel https://t.co/Ym4FwruVDu
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) August 5, 2018
The entire Guardians of the Galaxy cast recently issued a statement in support of the reinstatement of writer/director James Gunn, but the statement from Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn at the time of the firing sounded pretty firm.
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him.”
Gunn’s first film in the franchise grossed $773 million worldwide in 2014 and the second film earned $863.8 million last year.