Following the firing of James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Drax star Dave Bautista has been vocal in his support for the director, suggesting he may have to leave the franchise, but will his contract even allow that?
It has been a mere two and a half weeks since James Gunn was fired from directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 by The Walt Disney Company over offensive jokes he made on Twitter between 2008 and 2012. Gunn had previously apologized for his tweets, but Disney still severed ties with the director. The decision led to an immediate backlash from various sources, from fans and journalists to industry figures like director Fede Alvarez, comedian Patton Oswalt, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 star Kurt Russell. As of the writing of this piece, a Change.org petition in support of reinstating Gunn as director has over 371,000 signatures.
On July 30th, the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy released a joint statement expressing support for Gunn. Their support has been muted but still notable given the might of Disney and the contracts that still bind them to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the 3rd Guardians film. Yet the most vocal in his support for Gunn has been Drax actor Dave Bautista.
- This Page: Dave Bautista Wants Out
- Page 2: Can Dave Bautista's Really Leave Guardians?
Dave Bautista Wants Out Of Guardians If Gunn Isn't Rehired
Bautista has been candid and unequivocal on this topic, condemning Disney for their decision and sharing articles on the issue that side with Gunn. This week, he took a step further, tweeting about his hesitation over joining the 3rd Guardians film. He said, after being asked by a fan how he would respond to Disney if Gunn was not reinstated as director,
"I will do what I'm legally obligated to do but @Guardians without @JamesGunn is not what I signed up for. GOTG w/o @JamesGunn just isn’t GOTG. Its also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis . That’s just how I feel."
Typically, celebrity statements on issues like this are more neutral, less forceful and typically not tweeted out. For Bautista to resolutely take a stance on this issue, one that he knows won’t make him popular with his very powerful employer, is striking. The question now is whether Bautista will - or even can - quit playing Drax.
Dave Bautista's Guardians of the Galaxy Contract Explained
The typical Marvel contract for actors is a long-haul commitment. Samuel L. Jackson famously signed on for nine films as Nick Fury, which seemed like an impossible amount of work over a decade ago when the MCU was but a pipe-dream. Sebastian Stan also signed on for nine films as Bucky Barnes. Mark Ruffalo was open in discussing the six-movie deal he signed for the role of Bruce Banner. Now that the MCU is over twenty films deep and Thanos’s universal finger snap leaves the door open for certain actors to walk away, many have questioned who will stay in the franchise and who will leave once their obligations are fulfilled.
Unlike many of his co-stars, Bautista has never specified the length of his Marvel contract. However, fellow Guardians of the Galaxy Chris Pratt did reveal his contract included the main trilogy and two other films - Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 - with the possibility of extension. It's fair to assume that there's a similar situation for Bautista, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 his current final obligation. Of course, prior to his firing Gunn had been on board at Marvel as a creative adviser to their planned cosmic universe, which would see the franchise expand beyond Earth to include adventures like Captain Marvel, so there would be no shortage of places for Drax to show up should he renegotiate.
This would make Guardians 3 currently Drax's final film, one he is expected to complete. Of course, it does not seem as though Bautista wants to do what his contract demands.
Page 2 of 2: Can Dave Bautista's Really Leave Guardians?
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