Dave Bautista has expressed appreciation to Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn for changing his life and giving him the chance to be where he is today.
The actor, who plays Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Studios franchise, has again reiterated his support for Gunn after the filmmaker was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Bautista has been outspoken on the matter, and has even threatened to walk away from the upcoming sequel.
Appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show, Bautista said, “I love James. James really changed my life, so it’s a personal thing too."
He revealed how he couldn't find work before being cast in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. “I struggled, I starved for three years, I could barely get a job," he confessed. "There were a few people who believed in me along the way, but James was the one who really changed the course of my life.”
Speaking about what happens with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 now that the project has been placed on indefinite hold, Bautista said there is a "bit of an issue" surrounding his return. “I’m not really happy with what they’ve done with James Gunn," he said. "I don’t want to go too much into it, I don’t want to make it a political conversation."
“They are putting the movie off, it’s on hold indefinitely. … I have an issue, I have a moral and a political issue with what they’ve done,” Bautista added. "“I have been very vocal about the way I feel and I’m not afraid to admit the way I feel. That’s the way I feel."
While the Guardians cast signed an open letter to fans, and Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana have also supported Gunn, Bautista has been the most vocal cast member.
Disney announced in July that it had severed ties with Gunn after years-old offensive tweets made by the filmmaker about such topics as rape and pedophilia were unearthed by his detractors and publicized by conspiracy theorist and alt-right provocateur Mike Cernovich. Although reports circulated the Disney might reconsider, it became clear in mid-August the studio was sticking with its decision.
Bautista and his co-stars are contractually obliged to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, whenever it moves into production.