Following James Gunn’s firing as director of the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” installment, cast members from the Marvel superhero franchise, including Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, aren’t exactly distancing themselves from the filmmaker.
Gunn was terminated by Walt Disney Studios on Thursday after offensive tweets from his past resurfaced online. He has since apologized for a slew of now-deleted jokes about pedophilia and rape, describing himself as a “provocateur” in his early days on Twitter.
Pratt broke his silence on the news on Sunday with a somewhat cryptic tweet quoting a verse from the Bible’s Epistle of James about reserving judgment:
Actress Zoe Saldana, whose character (spoiler alert!) seemingly perished in “Avengers: Infinity War,” also weighed in. She ended her tweet saying she loves “ALL members of my GOTG family.” That, of course, includes Gunn, who directed the first two “Galaxy” movies.
Gunn’s scheduled appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend, where he was to discuss a new horror film for which he serves as the producer, was canceled in light of his Disney dismissal.
Other “Guardians” cast members like Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker and Gunn’s brother Sean have been more straightforward in responding to the firing.
Bautista, the former professional wrestler, has been the most candid, sharing articles encouraging the studio to rehire Gunn and describing the resurfacing of the director’s tweets as a ”
Sean Gunn, the “Gilmore Girls” actor, penned a heartfelt post providing some perspective on the controversial tweets and explaining his older brother’s evolution as a man and filmmaker.
He said he saw his sibling become “more open-hearted than the guy who thought he needed to get a rise out of people by making nasty or offensive jokes.” The post included a picture of two brothers standing together.
James Gunn’s firing drove Rooker off social media for the day, with the actor describing the uproar as “ongoing bullshit.”
A Change.org petition urging Gunn’s reinstatement had collected more than 190,000 signatures as of early Monday afternoon.
Disney has yet to announce how it plans to proceed with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” but the film is still expected to hit theaters sometime in 2020.