Dave Bautista was among the first of James Gunn’s colleagues to speak out against the director’s recent firing from the planned Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. In Saturday’s Tweet, the actor known for playing Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe acknowledged that the filmmaker has made mistakes but referred to his former collaborator as “one of the most loving, caring, good natured people I have ever met,” also mentioning that he would have more to say on the matter at some point in the future.
Now, Bautista has returned to social media with a series of angry and impassioned statements admonishing Disney for caving to the demands of the campaign led against Gunn by alt-right media personality Mike Cernovich.
“What will you do when the #cybernazis attack you? Who will stand by you? Who will cowardly distance themselves from you? Who will punish you for horrible JOKES in the past instead of defending you for INSPIRING millions? MILLIONS!!!”
A recurring argument from Gunn’s defenders is that the director’s shocking jokes were made prior to his involvement with the MCU, with celebrities ranging from James’ brother Sean Gunn to #MeToo advocate Selma Blair testifying to the Guardians of the Galaxy helmsman’s maturation since joining the Marvel team. While the Change.org petition to have Gunn reinstated for the third Guardians has garnered almost 150,000 signatures at the time of writing, Bautista also claims that the backlash against Disney’s decision is about more than just getting the sequel made.
“What happened here is so much bigger then G3, @JamesGunn ,myself,@Disney etc. This was a #cybernazi attack that succeeded. Unless we start to unite together against this crap, whether people are offended are not! …it’s going to get much worse. And it can happen to anyone”
Bautista’s Guardians of the Galaxy co-stars have been relatively coy about sharing their thoughts on the matter, though Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan have each posted Tweets that indirectly allude to the news while suggesting sympathy for Gunn.
As for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, a 2020 release is still planned as far as we know, but it’s clear that however things turn out for the project, the sequel will be coming to us on a wave of controversy.