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American films

Guardians of the Galaxy cast issue open letter in support of James Gunn after his firing over old tweets of inappropriate jokes

‘Personally I would love to see him reinstated’, actor Chris Pratt posts on Instagram after he and fellow cast members issue letter supporting the director in which they express hope Americans ‘can ease up on character assassination’

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 July, 2018, 1:38pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 July, 2018, 5:18pm

Chris Pratt and fellow Guardians of the Galaxy cast members have come out in support of the film’s ousted director James Gunn 10 days after his firing.

In an open letter on Monday signed by Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and five other main stars of the franchise, the actors said they fully support the director and the character he showed both on the set of the first two movies and in the wake of his firing.

Gunn was let go from directing the third instalment of the franchise by The Walt Disney Co. after old tweets resurfaced in which he joked about subjects like rape and paedophilia.

The cast members say they waited 10 days to issue a statement to “think, pray, listen and discuss”. In the interim, various members, including Gunn’s brother Sean Gunn, have issued individual statements. Fan petitions were also started online to rehire Gunn.

Film review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is an uneven space romp

“Each of us looks forward to working with our friend James again in the future,” wrote the actors, who said they were all shocked by the firing.

Pratt said in an Instagram post that he would, “Personally love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3.”

“Although I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man,” Pratt added.

Chris Pratt’s Instagram post carrying the cast members’ signed statement

The letter also discusses the climate that led to Gunn’s abrupt firing and the lack of “due process in the court of public opinion”.

James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cast members

Gunn’s current Twitter account is heavy on left-leaning politics, and some on the right with whom he’d sparred found and promoted the tweets from 2008 to 2011 that led to his firing.

“James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial,” the cast members wrote. “Given the growing political divide in this country, it’s safe to say instances like this will continue, although we hope Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassination and stop weaponizing mob mentality.”

Gunn has been writer and director of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise from the start, taking an obscure Marvel Comics title about a group of multicoloured misfits and turning it into a space opera decked with comedy and retro music that made Pratt a major movie star. The two instalments screened have taken more than US$1.5 billion in global box office receipts, and much has been staked on the third film that would launch another decade, or more, of Marvel films.