Kurt Russell has joined his Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cast members in support of James Gunn, following the director's firing from the third film in the trilogy. Gunn was let go by Disney after some tweets from many years ago resurfaced online, including jokes that referenced pedophilia and rape, and were deemed by many people to be in poor taste. Gunn was fired because his posts did not reflect Disney’s core values.
In the weeks since Gunn’s firing, there has been a large online debate over whether he should be reinstated as director for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Many supporters of Gunn don't condone the tweets, and neither does Gunn, who issued an apology before deleting his social media. Among Gunn’s supporters are the cast members of the Guardians of the Galaxy series. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, and Michael Rooker, so far, have all chimed in on the issue, believing that Gunn should be forgiven for his actions long ago. And now, another cast member has joined the group's position.
In an interview with Variety, Kurt Russell, who portrayed Ego the Living Planet in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, also joined the crusade to defend Gunn while at the Emmy Celebration for Netflix’s Wild, Wild Country. When asked about Gunn’s firing and the controversial tweets, Russell said, “It’s sad. But it’s a part of our fabric now, and I get it. But I do think we’re getting a little too sensitive on maybe some of the wrong people.” Russell then went on to comment on the state of comedy in Hollywood and how it relates to James Gunn, saying:
"You have to realize that when you are in that world as a comedian, a writer, whatever, you’re always stretching the boundaries and trying to find something which lead him to something that the world loves, which is Guardians of the Galaxy. He has a wonderful heart and a wonderful mind. I hope he is forgiven."
Gunn’s apology included the notion that he understood his firing, and that he did not condone his own actions from years past. He only said that he is a different person than he was back then. Though there have been rumors that Disney might be in talks with Gunn to reinstate him, it still seems highly unlikely that he will return. That has not stopped fans from trying with a petition, one that currently has a whopping 367,000+ signatures. Pratt, Cooper and Saldana have also signed an open letter supporting Gunn.
It will be tough to fill Gunn’s shoes as writer/director of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, especially since the series is a passion project for him. Gunn was also responsible for shaping the Guardians’ presence in the MCU, even writing their dialogue in Avengers: Infinity War. Support coming from Kurt Russell, a veteran actor in the industry, certainly means a great deal, but it might not be enough to get Gunn rehired for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
- 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 05, 2019