In the latest development following Disney’s decision to dismiss James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy over his old tweets, actor Dave Bautista, who plays Drax the Destroyer, has threatened to leave the film.
OK, let’s back it up a little. A few weeks ago, alt right activists, led by conservative blogger Mike Cernovich (he’s the guy responsible for the “Pizzagate” conspiracy) unearthed tweets written by the director of the Guardians movies, James Gunn, that were, no question, written in poor taste. They included jokes about pedophilia, AIDS and rape. Following, Disney issued a statement announcing that they would no longer be working with Gunn.
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values,” said Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn in a statement . “We have severed our business relationship with him.”
Gunn responded to Disney, accepting their decision, before deleting his 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,” he said. “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.” In the wake of Disney’s decision, Gunn received a lot of support. One Change.org petition has almost 400,000 signatures, and the cast of the film penned a letter in defense of Gunn, defending his character and professional conduct. Disney has not shown any signs that they are open to reinstating.
That is all to put into context Bautista’s threat. He tweeted yesterday that he was harboring some reservations over continuing to work with Disney, but that he would fulfill his contractual obligations.
Today, however, Shortlist reported that Bautista would not do the third installment of the series if Disney decided not to use the script that Gunn wrote. “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,” he said to a reporter for Shortlist. “I’d be doing James a disservice if I didn’t.”
At this point, Marvel’s plans for the movie have yet to be announced, so we’ll have to wait to see if Bautista’s line in the sand will have an effect.
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