Social media is still ablaze with responses to James Gunn’s shock firing from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on Friday due to the re-emergence of some offensive Tweets he posted a few years ago. While many agree that Disney made the right choice, others have rallied against the decision and believe Gunn’s tasteless comments don’t constitute a fireable offense.
As for the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy, many have been notably quiet of late. Dave Bautista – who plays Drax – was the first to break silence though by coming to his director and good friend’s defense. Now, Gunn’s brother Sean – who plays Kraglin and is the on-set performer for Rocket – has joined in by sharing a heartfelt essay about his thoughts on James’ firing on his Instagram account.
He began by making clear that he has nothing but “love and support” for his brother, before going on to mention that he admits the filmmaker has made “clunky, misguided, or downright stupid” creative errors in the past. However, he also says how he’s watched as Gunn’s time working with Marvel has seen him “transform from the guy who made up things to shock people” and made him realize that “his gift for storytelling was something better.”
The actor goes on to comment that James Gunn is now much more “open-hearted” than the man who wrote those “nasty… jokes,” and finishes by saying that he hopes fans remember the Guardians films for “[making] my brother a better person” and not the fact that the director “used to be kind of a jackass.”
You can read his full post below:
It goes without saying that I love and support my brother James and I’m quite proud of how kind, generous, and compassionate he is with all the people in his life. Since he was a kid, it was clear he had a desire (maybe destiny) to be an artist, tell stories, find his voice through comics, films, his band. The struggle to find that voice was sometimes clunky, misguided, or downright stupid, and sometimes wonderful, moving, and hilarious. Since devoting his entire life to the Guardians movies and MCU six years ago, I’ve seen him channel that voice into his work and seen him transform from the guy who made up things to shock people. I saw firsthand as he went from worrying about “softening his edge” for a larger audience to realizing that this “edge” wasn’t as useful of a tool as he thought it was. That his gift for storytelling was something better. I saw that he was more open-hearted than the guy who thought he needed to get a rise out of people by making nasty or offensive jokes (or whatever you choose to call them—I don’t think his bluer material was ever his funniest and neither does Mom).
Continuing on, he said:
And the best part is, this change in my brother was reflected in the change that the Guardians go through. I’ve heard my brother say many times that when Quill rallies the team with “this is our chance to give a shit”—to care—that it’s the pep talk he himself needed to hear. It’s part of what made working on the Guardians movies such a rewarding experience for the cast. We managed to find ourselves involved in a big-budget superhero movie that was, at its core, deeply personal. That’s a gift. And that’s why it’s good. This isn’t new information, by the way. It’s all stuff that James has explained many times in interviews, in more detail and more eloquently. It’s not some new spin. It’s always been part of this story.
So I guess my hope is that fans continue to watch and appreciate the Guardians movies, not despite the fact that the filmmaker used to be kind of a jackass, but because of it. They are, after all, movies about discovering your best self. Working on those movies made my brother a better person, and they made me one too. I’ll always be proud of that. Peace.
As Sean points out, his post doesn’t reveal any new information about his brother’s personal growth as James Gunn himself said as much in a final message on his Twitter account that he made in response to the controversy surrounding his previous comments. However, for many former fans – and indeed, Disney and Marvel themselves – his disturbing “jokes” were too unforgivable to warrant his continued employment.
As it stands, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is expected to release in May 2020. However, if Marvel decides to chuck out Gunn’s script and start from scratch, you can bet it’ll be pushed back.