It’s been over two weeks now since James Gunn’s shock firing from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise due to the resurfacing of some obscene tweets he shared several years ago, and stars of the Marvel series keep coming forward in his defense. Today, the latest to show their support is Ego the Living Planet himself, Kurt Russell.
The legendary actor spoke to Variety at Netflix’s Wild, Wild Country Emmy celebration on Saturday night and admitted that he was “sad” as to the turn of Gunn’s fortunes and touched on a bugbear he has about online culture.
“It’s sad. But it’s a part of our fabric now, and I get it, But I do think we’re getting a little too sensitive on maybe some of the wrong people.”
Elaborating on his feelings, Russell went on to mount more of a defense for Gunn, suggesting that his shocking comments from yesteryear were a necessary part of him discovering his creative voice as a writer and filmmaker. The director has actually said as much himself in his apology for his controversial remarks.
“You have to realize that when you are in that world as a comedian, a writer, whatever you’re always stretching the boundaries and trying to find something which lead him to something that the world loves, which is Guardians of the Galaxy. He has a wonderful heart and a wonderful mind. I hope he is forgiven.”
Russell’s comments follow on from a joint statement from the combined central cast of the Guardians movies, which made it clear that they supported Gunn and wish for him to return to complete the trilogy, though they stopped short of pressuring Disney to rehire him. That’s exactly what the fans are doing, though, as a petition calling for his reinstatement is currently on its way to accruing 400,000 signatures.
As it happens, though, it’s believed that the studio isn’t bowing to public outcry – at least, not for now – and remain adamant that Gunn will not return to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. From what we understand, Marvel’s looking for fresh directors to helm the threequel and while it’s not yet know whether Gunn’s script will be used or whether the project will start from scratch, it’s looking likely at this point that the expected 2020 release date won’t stick.