In March, Disney and Marvel Studios announced they had rehired writer and director James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after firing him eight months prior. The firing came about as a result of conservative Twitter trolls’ efforts to expose Gunn for a series of inappropriate tweets. The backlash to Gunn’s firing was immediate and longstanding, especially from the Guardians cast members he had worked with on the first two films. Chief among them was Dave Bautista, who plays Drax.
The pro-wrestler turned actor called working for Disney “pretty nauseating” after Gunn’s firing and, at one point, reportedly threatened to quit the third Guardians film because of it. Now that Marvel’s parent company has made amends, however, it seems Bautista’s tune has changed. As reported by Collider, the retired wrestler told the Pro Wrestling Sheet podcast that everything is better now:
“I hope it’s good. I never actually talked to anybody from Disney. I only ever talk to people from Marvel. And they were very understanding about the way I felt.”
“I got people who are very understanding of where I stood. A lot of them just weren’t outspoken about it. And I just happened to be very outspoken about the way I felt.”
“James [Gunn] is my friend. I love him. He helped change my life and I know he’s a decent person. He was being attacked. And what do you do when your friends are being attacked? You defend them, or you’re not really a friend.”
The moral of the story? Do something nice for Dave Bautista, because if you do (and he notices it), he’ll defend you — even in the face of a corporate conglomerate like the Walt Disney Company. Despite some delays, the next Guardians sequel is expected to begin production in 2020 and fly into theaters a year or two after that.