When Walt Disney fired “Guardians of the Galaxy” writer and director James Gunn for his old jokes about pedophilia and molestation, among others, during the early part of his career, it was obvious which side the core cast was on.
Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the films, said in a tweet that he would “honor his contract” but that he doesn’t feel good anymore working for Disney.
“I will do what [I’m] legally obligated to do but @Guardians without @JamesGunn is not what I signed up for. GOTG w/o @JamesGunn just isn’t GOTG. [It’s] also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis. That’s just how I feel.”
Last month, IndieWire reported that the “Guardians of the Galaxy” cast wrote and released an open letter, supporting Gunn and condoning what is viewed as a malicious attempt by conservative trolls to bring down the director, who has been a vocal critic of U.S. President Donald Trump.
“We fully support James Gunn. We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten days to respond in order to think, pray, listen, and discuss. In that time, we’ve been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director of ‘Volume 3’ as well as discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding him,” the cast wrote in the letter.
Along with Bautista, the letter was signed by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff and Karen Gillan. And although the letter was in no way a means to support Gunn’s old jokes, the cast said that they believe that everyone deserves a second chance, a message they said the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise is all about.
Could there be a reboot?
Now that there’s friction between the studio and one of the cast members, would the third film be successful if the actors choose not to return?
It’s possible, but some critics are saying that could just be a time bomb waiting to explode, which is why some have floated the idea that a reboot of the hit franchise might actually be the better direction to take, especially since the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) future after the fourth “Avengers” movie is still shrouded in mystery.
If Pratt, Saldana and Bautista opted not to reprise their roles in the next installment, box office numbers might take a soft blow, making the idea of a reboot not bad at all.
And even if the cast indeed returns for the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” without the guidance of Gunn, there is a possibility that the press tour for the movie would be a struggle for the actors and Disney.
The reboot’s possible routes
But is there really a way to go about a movie without Chris, Zoe and Dave? A Forbes article suggests taking the story in a different direction and putting the spotlight on other characters like Stakar and Aleta Ogord, respectively portrayed by Sylvester Stallone and Michelle Yeoh.
Screen Rant also suggested actually replacing Pratt’s Peter Quill with Chris Hemsworth’s Thor (if he returns to the MCU) and continue the storyline which brought the God of Thunder working with Groot (Diesel) and Rocket (Cooper) in “Avengers: Infinity War.” According to the article, the chemistry of Thor and the Guardians was “the jolt of lightning both Avengers: Infinity War and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole needed.”
James Gunn’s termination
Late last month, Disney surprised fans when the studio fired Gunn from the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie after decade-old tweets of the director seemingly condoning pedophilia and other taboo topics resurfaced.
Disney described the tweets as “indefensible,” and it was the Walt Disney Studios chairman himself, Alan Horn, who gave the statement.
“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,” said Horn.
Gunn naturally got the ire of the social media sphere and released this statement over Twitter:
“Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor. It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.”
(Featured image by DepositPhotos)
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