Thanos co-creator Jim Starlin feels that Disney made a mistake by firing James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy 3. The famed comic book artist/writer has a long, impressive resume with both Marvel and DC Comics, and he is one of many people to come forward on behalf of the recently ousted director. Dave Bautista, who portrays Drax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was among the first to state his aversion to Disney's handling of the situation.
Disney recently severed ties with Gunn, the architect behind one of the MCU’s most beloved franchises, Guardians of the Galaxy. The auteur was set to helm the upcoming third installment, but the studio chose to fire him from the project after offensive tweets from his past resurfaced. The tweets in question were posted from 2008-2012, before Gunn began his relationship with the Mouse House. Mere hours after those tweets popped back up, Disney let Gunn go, calling his statements “indefensible and inconsistent" with their values, which is family-oriented. That decision quickly became a point of contention, with many people siding with the filmmaker on the matter.
Although some praise Disney for their swift and decisive choice, others view it as a gross overreaction to past misdeeds that Gunn apologized for prior to his employment with them. Starlin definitely falls into the latter category, stating:
“After giving it a couple days to think over this James Gunn/Disney controversy, I've come to the conclusion that the Mouse got played. Yes, Gunn's decade-old tweets were distasteful and stupid, but clearly meant to be foolishly provocative rather than taken as advocacy. The whole uproar over them was plainly ginned up by two Breitbart hatchet men, John Nolte and Mike Cernovich, in response to Rosanne Barr's firing for her repeated hate-filled and racist tweets. I have to agree with Dave Bautisa on this one. Disney accepted a ridiculous apple and oranges argument and made one hell of a bad call.”
This isn’t the first time that Gunn’s statements have gained negative attention. He apologized for them two years before the first Guardians film released. While these tweets were indeed offensive - making light of subjects such as pedophilia, AIDS, and rape - it’s also important to remember that Gunn got his start working for Troma, a film studio in the business of offending pretty much everyone. He has stated on more than one occasion that he has changed a lot since those days.
Gunn took full responsibility for these statements once again, explaining that he understood Disney’s decision to fire him. Although some have already moved on to wondering who should helm Guardians 3 in Gunn’s stead, there is a petition circulating to rehire the director, which, astoundingly, has well over 200,000 signatures. Actress Selma Blair has shared this petition, speaking out on behalf of Gunn as being one of the "good ones." His brother, Sean Gunn, has also defended him, not for the statements made years ago, but for the man that he has become. Michael Rooker, who plays Yondu, has even quit Twitter in the wake of Gunn’s firing.
The MCU has had a story of redemption woven into its DNA from the very beginning, with Robert Downey Jr. completely turning his life around after being cast as Tony Stark. Unlike the firing of Rosanne Barr, which this is being continually compared to, Gunn was fired for comments he made quite some time ago, rather than anything he posted while actually in the company’s employ. Gunn helped to shape the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was set to continue play a large role in its cosmic side moving forward, but it’s unlikely that Disney will rehire him. The future of Guardians 3 is not the only thing that remains uncertain here, but whether or not people are allowed to atone for mistakes that they have made in the past.
Source: Jim Starlin
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019