Actor Dave Bautista has been highly critical of Disney’s decision to fire Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s director James Gunn after right-wing agitators circulated a selection of the director’s controversial, years-old tweets. Today, the actor went so far as to say that he will ask Disney to remove him from the upcoming film if Gunn’s script isn’t used.
“Nobody’s defending his tweets, but this was a smear campaign on a good man,” said Bautista in an interview with ShortList. “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.’”
Bautista has gone on the record as saying that a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 without Gunn is not what he signed up for. The actor has previously been highly critical of Disney for caving to an organized smear campaign levied against the outspoken, politically left-leaning director. Bautista proceeded to lay out his plan should Disney decide to dump Gunn’s script, which the director submitted to the studio shortly before his firing.
“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,” said Bautista. “I’d be doing James a disservice if I didn’t.”
Numerous other celebrities have come to Gunn’s aid since his firing. Both Selma Blair and Michael Rooker have quit Twitter, with Blair later following up with the reasoning that “nuance matters” in situations such as Gunn’s. Luke Cage star Mike Colter offered his own encouragement via Twitter, claiming that he was confident that Gunn would be reinstated in time. Even comic books creators Rob Liefeld and Jim Starlin have chimed in on the firing, with the former asking “what happened to forgiveness” and the latter calling the firing “one hell of a bad call.”
A replacement director has yet to be announced for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. A fan-made petition to rehire Gunn for the film is currently ongoing, having collected nearly 370,000 signatures since its creation. A release date for the film has yet to be revealed.