Guardians of the Galaxy star defend James Gunn
Yesterday the film world was rocked by the news that Walt Disney Studios had fired writer/director James Gunn from the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The decision came after an assortment of transgressive Tweets making light of rape and pedophilia by the director from 2009-2012 were recently unearthed by conservative personalities, tweets which previously stirred up controversy on Gunn’s initial hiring by Marvel back in 2012. Now several of the Guardians of the Galaxy stars have come out in defense of Gunn, specifically his brother Sean Gunn (who plays Kraglin and also provides performance capture for Rocket) and Dave Bautista (Drax).
Here is a compilation of a 10-Tweet statement made by Sean Gunn via his Twitter feed:
I hope 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 the people in his life, whether they are friends, family, colleagues, fans, or strangers. 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 on those movies 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 his “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 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). In many respects 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, myself included. 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 the 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’m proud of that. Peace.
Lastly, a more cryptic Tweet from longtime Gunn collaborator Michael Rooker (Yondu in the first two Guardians movies, Slither, Super), although he also retweeted Sean Gunn’s statement so it’s safe to say they might be simpatico on the subject:
Major players in the Guardians franchise who have yet to speak out publicly include Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Marvel Studios producer Kevin Feige.
Yesterday James Gunn released a statement to on his firing from the upcoming Guardians sequel, saying:
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time. Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.”
Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn justified the firing in a brief 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.”
Earlier this year, director James Gunn revealed that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would be released in 2020. Filming was scheduled to start this Fall in Atlanta, but it is unknown if the film will keep to this schedule. The third Guardians film was meant to be the final outing for the original team lineup, and set up future films in the cosmic arena of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Keep checking back to ComingSoon.net for more developments in the fate of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.