In his first interview following Disney‘s firing of James Gunn, Dave Bautista has dropped a major bombshell– that he may ask to be released from his Marvel contract prior to filming ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3’ next year. Gunn was fired when old tweets surfaced, revealing several jokes about such touchy subjects as rape, pedophilia, the Holocaust and more. Disney, which had just fired Roseanne Barr after an offensive Twitter rant, immediately cut all ties with Gunn.
Bautista, who plays Drax in the Marvel movies, and his fellow ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ stars penned an open letter to Disney urging them to reinstate Gunn, although Bautista says he doesn’t believe that this will actually happen. “I don’t think [it] will get him re-hired,” he said, “But I hope it opens people’s eyes to James’ character.”
Here is what Bautista had to say on the matter, in his interview with Short List:
“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: f*ck this. This is bullshit. James is one of the kindest, most decent people I’ve met.”
Gunn had completed the script for ‘Guardians 3’ and was set to direct it early next year. Bautista says that if Gunn’s script is tossed out, that he won’t return for the next installment.
“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.”
Gunn is very vocally liberal and speaks out against the current Trump Presidency on social media. He was specifically targeted by right-wing activists who bombarded Disney’s social media with Gunn’s old tweets.
Before this interview, Bautista announced his current stance on Twitter.
I will do what Im legally obligated to do but @Guardians without @JamesGunn is not what I signed up for. GOTG w/o @JamesGunn just isn’t GOTG. Its also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis . That’s just how I feel https://t.co/Ym4FwruVDu
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) August 5, 2018
After Gunn’s termination, fellow Disney director Rian Johnson went through and deleted over 20,000 old tweets. ‘Doctor Strange’ director Scott Derrickson and actor Selma Blair have quit Twitter outright.
What do you think? Should Bautista leave the franchise as a show of solidarity with Gunn? Would you be sad to see Drax go?