Dave Bautista plays the popular character Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise.  He has been one of the most vocal supporters of James Gunn since he was fired by Marvel Studios and Disney.  The former professional wrestler recently gave an interview (via ShortList) that punctuates his displeasure.  Bautista is willing to walk away from Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3 if Marvel does not use Gunn’s script.

The Bautista Ultimatum

Gunn already turned in the script for Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3 according to Bautista.  The actor said, “Where I’m at right now is that if [Marvel] don’t use that script, then I’m going to ask them to release me from my contract, cut me out, or recast me.”  He continued, “I’d be doing James a disservice if I didn’t.”

Bautista later tweeted, “I will do what i’m legally obligated to do but [Guardians] without [James Gunn] is not what I signed up for. GOTG w/o [James Gunn] just isn’t GOTG. It’s also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis. That’s just how I feel.”  The state of the movie is still in question, since the studio has not announced a replacement director.

The History

James Gunn is the director of the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel.  Marvel fired Gunn last month when offensive tweets he had posted several years ago came to light.  While the tweets have been public before now, a conspiracy theorist who supports the President highlighted them last month.  Gunn has been an out spoken opponent of the current Presidential Administration.

“Nobody’s defending his tweets, but this was a smear campaign on a good man,” Bautista said.  “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: f*** this. This is bull****. James is one of the kindest, most decent people I’ve met.”

The Letter

Last week, members of the Guardians of the Galaxy cast sent out an open letter of support, to reinstate Gunn as the director.  The films stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vinn Diesel, Dave Bautista, and Bradley Cooper signed the letter.  Cast members Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker and Pom Klementieff also signed.

Even with the letter, it is unlikely image conscious Disney will bring back Gunn.  When asked about the letter, Bautista said, “I don’t think [it] will get him re-hired. But I hope it opens people’s eyes to James’ character.”