Of all the Guardians of the Galaxy, Dave Bautista has been the most vocal in support of James Gunn following his firing from the Disney-Marvel film series. And now, he’s willing to make the ultimate sacrifice over the matter: give up his own job.
Speaking to ShortList, Bautista said, “Where I’m at right now is that if [Marvel] don’t use [Gunn’s] script, then I’m going to ask them to release me from my contract, cut me out or recast me. I’d be doing James a disservice if I didn’t.”
This comes mere hours after Bautista took to Twitter saying he would do the film out of contractual obligation but “Guardians without James Gunn is not what I signed up for.”
Bautista is making these statements following Disney’s firing of the writer-director when old tweets of Gunn’s resurfaced from right-wing media personalities as part of a continuing effort against left-leaning individuals. The actor, along with the rest of his cast, then released a lengthy letter on this subject but none of them went so far as to threaten leaving the movie.
In this new interview, though, Bautista is very clear that he is speaking for himself in this instance, and not his cast members. “Nobody’s defending his tweets, but this was a smear campaign on a good man,” Bautista told ShortList. “I spoke to Chris Pratt the day after it happened and he’s a bit religious so he wanted time to pray and figure it out, but I was more like: fuck this. This is bullshit. James is one of the kindest, most decent people I’ve met.”
Most experts believe Disney will not rehire Gunn as the film’s director but there’s been no indication yet if the studio plans to use his script or not. Gunn had been working on the script for months and was either close to finishing, or just handed in, an early draft. io9 has reached out to Disney for comment on Bautista’s latest statements and will update should we hear back.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was expected to film next year for a 2020 release, but that’s currently up in the air.