Guardians of the Galaxy stars and other famous faces have declared their support for James Gunn, the director who was recently fired from the third instalment in the franchise.
Actors from the Guardians films, including Dave Bautista, posted messages criticising Disney’s decision to remove Gunn from the movie after past tweets containing offensive jokes were unearthed.
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Bautista, who plays Drax the Destroyer, suggested that although Gunn has “made mistakes”, he disagreed with the sacking.
I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this..@JamesGunn is one of the most loving,caring,good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) July 21, 2018
Bautista also took aim at alt-right internet commentators such as Jack Posobiec, who had initially called for Gunn’s dismissal.
What will you do when the #cybernazis attack you? Who will stand by you? Who will cowardly distance themselves from you? Who will punish you for horrible JOKES in the past instead of defending you for INSPIRING millions? MILLIONS!!! #Redemption #injustice @JamesGunn
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) July 22, 2018
Chris Pratt (Star-Lord) posted a cryptic bible quote, seemingly condemning the swift backlash against Gunn.
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) July 22, 2018
Karen Gillan and Zoe Saldana (who play sisters Nebula and Gamora) also refrained from criticising Gunn’s firing outright, but made clear they loved every member of the Guardians crew.
Love to every single member of my GOTG family.
— Karen Gillan (@karengillan) July 23, 2018
It’s been a challenging weekend I’m not gonna lie. I’m pausing myself to take everything in before I speak out of term. I just want everyone to know I love ALL members of my GOTG family. Always will.
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) July 22, 2018
Pom Klementieff, who plays Mantis, also suggested the cast would “stand together”.
— Pom Klementieff (@PomKlementieff) July 23, 2018
Sean Gunn, the director’s brother who plays ravager Kraglin in the Guardians movies, launched a lengthy defence of his brother, who helmed the first two Guardians films. In it, he argued that although James used to be “the guy who made up things to shock people”, “Working on those movies made my brother a better person”.
It goes without saying that I love and support my brother James and I’m quite proud of how kind, generous, and compassionate he is with all the people in his life. Since he was a kid, it was clear he had a desire (maybe destiny) to be an artist, tell stories, find his voice through comics, films, his band. The struggle to find that voice was sometimes clunky, misguided, or downright stupid, and sometimes wonderful, moving, and hilarious. Since devoting his entire life to the Guardians movies and MCU six years ago, I’ve seen him channel that voice into his work and seen him transform from the guy who made up things to shock people. I saw firsthand as he went from worrying about “softening his edge” for a larger audience to realizing that this “edge” wasn’t as useful of a tool as he thought it was. That his gift for storytelling was something better. I saw that he was more open-hearted than the guy who thought he needed to get a rise out of people by making nasty or offensive jokes (or whatever you choose to call them—I don’t think his bluer material was ever his funniest and neither does Mom). And the best part is, this change in my brother was reflected in the change that the Guardians go through. I’ve heard my brother say many times that when Quill rallies the team with “this is our chance to give a shit”—to care—that it’s the pep talk he himself needed to hear. It’s part of what made working on the Guardians movies such a rewarding experience for the cast. We managed to find ourselves involved in a big-budget superhero movie that was, at its core, deeply personal. That’s a gift. And that’s why it’s good. This isn’t new information, by the way. It’s all stuff that James has explained many times in interviews, in more detail and more eloquently. It’s not some new spin. It’s always been part of this story. So I guess my hope is that fans continue to watch and appreciate the Guardians movies, not despite the fact that the filmmaker used to be kind of a jackass, but because of it. They are, after all, movies about discovering your best self. Working on those movies made my brother a better person, and they made me one too. I’ll always be proud of that. Peace.
Selma Blair also tweeted out her support for the director – and shared a petition calling for Disney to re-hire him – but her posts have since been deleted.
Gunn previously defended himself on social media, saying that although he “used to make a lot of offensive jokes”, he was “very, very different than I was a few years ago”.
It has yet to be announced who will replace Gunn on the third Guardians film, which was expected to be released in 2020.