In the large Marvel Cinematic Universe, while almost all its component films try in some manner to include a dash of humor into the plot and cinematography, none of them quite stand out as being the “comedy” part of the MCU like the movies about the “Guardians of the Galaxy”. With two films, one in 2014 and another last year, the cosmic-level adventures of a band of space outlaws became a hit with audiences due to the brilliant directing of James Gunn. Now, with Gunn removed by Disney from the third “Guardians” film, the cast is clamoring for his return.
USA Today has it that actor Chris Pratt, who plays Peter Quill/Star-Lord in the MCU “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, is leading his fellow cast-mates in a plea for Disney to reconsider its firing last Friday of director James Gunn from follow-up projects. This decision came as a result of the public reveal of certain posts made by Gunn in social media during the early 2000s that can be framed as offensive and politically incorrect. These old jokes contained jokes that imply condoning of pedophilia and rape. Disney chairman Alan Horn announced Gunn’s dismissal during San Diego Comic Con weekend.
James Gunn himself had come clean about these old social media chatter, even posting a statement of apology only around 2012. Nevertheless, he says he understands Disney’s reasoning for not wanting to be associated with him and will accept it without challenge, just as he has taken full responsibility for his own past online behavior.
To this, Chris Pratt is responding on his Twitter page with, of all things, a Bible quote from James 1:19 going, “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.” Costar Zoe Saldana, who portrays Gamora in “Guardians”, remarks also that the whirlwind around the removal of Gunn made for a challenging weekend and she is taking care not to speak out of turn. Despite that, she claims to love everyone in the “Guardians” family of cast and production staff, implying that includes Gunn.
A tweet from Dave Bautista, who plays Drax the Destroyer, is a lot more direct if not strongly-worded in support for Gunn, describing the director as caring and good-natured despite his mistakes, as well as disapproving of Disney’s drastic action.
Finally actress Selma Blair, who is not part of the MCU but a personal friend of Gunn, is directing supporters to a Change.org petition calling on Marvel Studios and Disney to rehire him. By the afternoon of Monday, July 23, over 200,000 names have been signed on the petition.
Image courtesy of ComicBook.com