The entire main cast of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy films has united to release and sign an open letter in support of the franchise's ousted director, James Gunn, after his firing by the Walt Disney Company 10 days ago.
The letter, released via social media Monday, is signed by stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Pom Klemetieff, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, and Sean Gunn, the actors which comprise the main Guardians team and their principal supporting cast members. While the statement does not call for Gunn's reinstatement, it does state that they "fully support" their director, and declares that each actor "looks forward" to working with him in the future. In his own comments after posting the letter to his Instagram page, Pratt said he'd "personally love to see [Gunn] reinstated." Here's the full letter:
Gunn's firing as writer and director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was announced July 20, after controversy was ignited when far right website The Daily Caller published old tweets from Gunn's account that referenced, among other things, rape and pedophilia. Gunn posted a statement explaining the tweets as "jokes" that stemmed from a desire to be a "provocateur" earlier in his career as a filmmaker, but the posts were still enough for Disney to decide to dismiss him. Gunn, who had already apologized for various offensive social media posts he framed as part of a pattern of past behavior he's since grown beyond, issued another apology hours after his firing.
In the days since, there has been a steady outpouring of support for Gunn from both fans and collaborators. Several members of the Guardians cast had already spoken out, with Bautista and Sean Gunn (James Gunn's brother) being the most vocal, but other famous supporters have included Selma Blair, Patton Oswalt, Thanos creator Jim Starlin, and director Joe Carnahan.
On the fan side of things, the most tangible piece of support is a petition created shortly after Gunn's firing, asking simply for Disney to "re-hire" him. As of this writing, the petition has garnered more than 335,000 signatures.
Disney has yet to issue a statement on the matter beyond its initial firing of Gunn, so it will be interesting to see if any executives weigh in after several of the biggest stars at Disney-owned Marvel Studios banded together for Gunn today.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was previously expected to arrive sometime in 2020. It's unclear now how Disney and Marvel plan to move forward with the film.