The Guardians of the Galaxy cast continues to stand by James Gunn after Disney fired the director over a series of problematic tweets he posted in 2008-2011 resurfaced.
In an open letter from Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Michael Rooker, and Sean Gunn, the franchise stars begin boldly: "We fully support James Gunn," adding that since his "abrupt firing," they've been "encouraged by the outpouring of support" from fans who wish to see him reinstated and "discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding him."
They go on to paint Gunn as a "good person" who was subjected to the "court of pubic opinion," and appeal to the Guardians theme of redemption, which, they write, has "never been more relevant than now."
Although the statement doesn't outright call for Gunn's un-firing, Pratt noted in his Instagram caption that he'd "personally love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3," while Saldana took a stronger stance, asserting that the statement does indicate the full cast's desire to get Gunn back on board.
This joint statement isn't the first cast members have said about the matter. In the days after the director was fired, many of the stars independently came out with statements of support for their franchise's leader.
Gunn, for his part, issued an apology on Twitter soon after the tweets were unearthed to supplement the apologies he has issued for his divisive humor in the past.
Disney has not released any updates on the status of the third film since severing ties with the director, however Gunn had previously revealed that he had submitted a draft of the Volume 3 script, with production anticipated to begin in 2019.
Read the full statement in support of Gunn from the Guardians cast below.
— Alissa Schulman