Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista is furious at the sacking of James Gunn as he credits the director with transforming his life.
James cast Dave as Drax the Destroyer in the first and second Guardians films, and both were preparing to work on a third instalment until last month (Jul18), when the filmmaker was fired by Disney executives over offensive tweets he sent a decade ago.
The former wrestling star has given his public backing to James, saying that he does not want to make the movie without him, and has now opened up about the debt he feels he owes the director.
“I love James,” he tells U.K. chat show host Jonathan Ross. “James really changed my life so it’s a personal thing too. I struggled, I starved for three years, I could barely get a job. There were a few people who believed in me along the way but James was the one who really changed the course of my life.”
Dave, 49, and his co-stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, have all publicly backed James and requested his reinstatement – but so far Disney chiefs have held firm and have not rehired him.
His dismissal has put the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, one of the cornerstones of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in jeopardy – and the muscle-bound actor says that the next Guardians movie is now on hold.
“I’m not really happy with what they’ve done with James Gunn. I don’t want to go too much into it, I don’t want to make it a political conversation,” he explains in a chat that will air in the U.K. on Saturday (01Sep18). “They are putting the movie off, it’s on hold indefinitely… I have an issue, I have a moral and a political issue with what they’ve done. I have been very vocal about the way I feel and I’m not afraid to admit the way I feel. That’s the way I feel.”
James has apologised for his offensive tweets, which included jokes about paedophilia and rape, saying they “don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time” in a statement issued after his firing.
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