'Guardians of the Galaxy' star Dave Bautista has responded to Disney firing James Gunn
We all know that the Marvel cinematic universe would be a much poorer place without the talents of director James Gunn. Before he joined Disney, he was known as an edgy, black-humoured kind of filmmaker. When the movie Guardians of the Galaxy was first announced, many doubted that a space opera superhero movie with a cast of obscure c-list characters would be a box office draw. Yet Gunn's perfect mix of humour, pathos and drama meant that fans everywhere fell in love with them; and now they're even more popular than some of their better-known comic book counterparts. Based on that track record alone, you'd think Disney would be keen to keep him in their pocket.
But unfortunately Gunn has now been fired by Disney over a number of offensive tweets he made years ago. On July 19th, conservative news outlet The Daily Caller published an article titled "After Attacking Conservatives, Disney Filmmaker's Tweets Reveal Homophobia and Assault Against Children", in which they noted a number of tweets Gunn had made in the past which they deemed sexist and homophobic. In response to the controversy, Gunn was fired from directing the third instalment of the Guardians films.
Now Drax actor Dave Bautista has stepped forward to defend Gunn in the wake of his termination. Bautista tweeted: "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"
Gunn himself has since apologised for the tweets in question, in a lengthy statement he said: "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 humour. 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."
He added: "My days saying something just because it's shocking and trying to get a reaction are over. In the past, I have apologised for humour of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies. For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn't living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it. Anyway, that's the completely honest truth: I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don't anymore. I don't blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all."
Guardians of the Galaxy 3 was due to be released in cinemas in 2020, but it's hard to shake the idea that without Gunn at the helm, the threequel may be a poor follow-up.