Disney’s decision to fire James Gunn as director and writer of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 continues to be the sloppiest thing it’s done since the studio made a bunch of racist films in the 1940’s, material it has since apologized for and moved on from. What a concept! The latest news: Dave Bautista, who plays Guardians member Drax the Destroyer, has hinted that he will not be a part of the franchise’s third film if Disney scraps Gunn’s already completed screenplay.
Talking to ShortList, Bautista noted it would be a “disservice” to the fired filmmaker if he honored his contractually obligated Guardians 3 duties:
“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.”
The actor—who comes from the pro-wrestling world of WWE but has since shined comedically in the Guardians films and in much more subdued performances like Blade Runner 2049—also made note of his far more fiery response to the situation compared to his co-stars. (Who, to their credit, did come out in full support of James Gunn.)
“Nobody’s defending his tweets, but this was a smear campaign on a good man. 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: fuck this. This is bullshit. James is one of the kindest, most decent people I’ve met.”
I’ve already written some lengthy thoughts on this incredibly messy saga, but the basic gist is this: Disney—a monolithic media giant with some not great, Bob blemishes on its own past—conceded to the whims of an online attack led by a Pizzagate-peddling conspiracy theorist who once tweeted “Have you guys ever tried ‘raping’ a girl without using force? Try it. It’s basically impossible.” No one is defending James Gunn’s jokes, especially not James Gunn himself, who not only apologized for them years ago but has accepted Disney’s decision gracefully. To answer your questions, in order: 1) No, James Gunn’s tweets don’t make him an actual pedophile, 2) Yes, Roseanne Barr deserved to be fired, 3) Yes, Dave Bautista is a better actor than The Rock and should get at least half of the khaki-shirt action roles going forward.