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Dave Bautista will quit ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ if Disney doesn’t use James Gunn’s script

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It’s been more than two weeks since Disney announced their decision to fire James Gunn as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after old, offensive tweets the filmmaker wrote nearly a decade ago began to resurface as part of a smear campaign led by right-wing blogger and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich. However, the discussion surrounding the company’s controversial decision hasn’t cooled down one bit.

Last week, the Guardians cast, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, and Michael Rooker, all signed an open letter in support of Gunn, who was set to begin shooting the third installment in the critically acclaimed franchise this fall.

Bautista has been particularly vocal about Gunn’s firing, writing on Twitter yesterday that he will do what he is contractually obligated to do with Disney, but “Guardians without James Gunn is not what I signed up for” and that “it’s also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists.”

Cernovich was just one of the many people who actively promoted the fake “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory during the 2016 presidential election, which falsely claimed that Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta, were running a child sex trafficking ring out of a pizzeria called Comet Ping Pong in Washington D.C.

But what made Gunn a prime target for Cernovich’s latest smear campaign? It was his outspoken criticism of President Donald Trump, the entire current White House administration, and other Republican figures devoted to the “Make America Great Again” agenda. Some even saw Gunn’s firing as revenge for what happened to Roseanne Barr in a similar situation just a few months earlier.

In a recent interview with ShortList, Bautista talked about Gunn’s firing a bit more and revealed that if Marvel doesn’t use Gunn’s script for the next Guardians movie, he will begin exploring the option of being released from his contract with the studio.

“Nobody’s defending his tweets, but this was a smear campaign on a good man,” Bautista said. “I spoke to Chris Pratt the day after it happened and he’s a bit religious so he wanted time to pray and figure it out, but I was more like: fuck this. This is bullshit. James is one of the kindest, most decent people I’ve met.”

He added, “Where I’m at right now is that if [Marvel] don’t use that script, then I’m going to ask them to release me from my contract, cut me out or recast me. I’d be doing James a disservice if I didn’t.”

Despite the immense amount of backlash from fans and the film’s own stars, one source with insider knowledge tells Silver Screen Beat that, at this point, it doesn’t seem likely that Gunn will be rehired by Disney because the company “doesn’t want it to look like they can be pressured or pushed around” into making decisions.

If that really is the case, by responding to the demands of a radical right-winger like Cernovich and his horde of online trolls, Disney has already let the public know that they can be pushed around into making decisions, so what are they really worried about here?

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‘Transparent’ creator Jill Soloway will replace Bryan Singer as writer-director on ‘Red Sonja’

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Bryan Singer, in addition to being a pretty bad director, is also a pretty shitty and terrible person, as you probably already know. Earlier this year, The Atlantic published an exposé detailing new sexual misconduct claims against the Bohemian Rhapsody helmer made by several men who claim he sexually assaulted them when they were underage—the youngest being just 13-years-old.

That being said, it was pretty shocking when Millennium Films CEO Avi Lerner referred to the exposé as “agenda driven fake news” and said that he would not be removing Singer from his post as writer-director on the studio’s long-in-the-works Red Sonja, a female-centered superhero film that would reportedly earn Singer a whopping $10 million paycheck.

Fast forward a few months later, and it appears Lerner had a change of heart after all, as Deadline is reporting that Millennium has finally removed Singer from the project and replaced him with Transparent creator Jill Soloway, who is now set to write and direct the project that has been stuck in development hell for more than a decade now at this point.

“I can’t wait to bring Red Sonja’s epic world to life,” Soloway said in a statement to Deadline. “Exploring this powerful mythology and evolving what it means to be a heroine is an artistic dream come true.”

However, as exciting as it is to finally see Red Sonja get back off the ground and into development with someone that isn’t a dude at the helm, don’t expect to see the movie hit theaters anytime soon, as the original report notes that it still “has to be scripted, cast and prepped” and “it is likely Soloway will direct something before it.”

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‘Halloween 2’ will begin shooting this fall with Jamie Lee Curtis and David Gordon Green returning

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Earlier this month, we brought you a report about how Jamie Lee Curtis and Jason Blum had met up to probably discuss the development of another Halloween movie and it sounds like our speculation was right on point: The Shape isn’t dead after all.

According to Collider, Halloween 2 is indeed happening and is set to begin production this fall. Curtis will, of course, be reprising her iconic role as Laurie Strode, while Judy Greer and Andi Matichak will also be back to play her daughter and granddaughter, respectively.

David Gordon Green, who directed and co-wrote last year’s Halloween along with Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley, wrote the script for the sequel and is being eyed for a return to the director’s chair as well. It’s unclear as to what happened to the screenplay Scott Teems was reportedly working on earlier this year.

Last year’s Halloween was initially intended to be a one-off (the first synopsis for the film described it as Laurie Strode’s “final confrontation” with Michael Myers), but with it’s $255 million worldwide box office haul and open-ended conclusion, a sequel seemed all but likely to happen.

Halloween 2 is expected to hit theaters on October 16, 2020. We’ll bring you the official announcement from Blumhouse as soon as it comes across our desk.

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Paul Thomas Anderson and Thom Yorke’s short film ‘Anima’ is coming to Netflix next week

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“In a short musical film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Thom Yorke of Radiohead scores and stars in a mind-bending visual piece. Best played loud.”

That’s the incredibly intriguing official logline for Anima, the latest and rather unexpected collaboration between director Paul Thomas Anderson and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, which is set to be released along with Yorke’s upcoming album of the same name later this month.

Despite the teaser trailer released by Netflix today, we still don’t know a whole lot about Anima other than the fact that it’s being described as a “one-reeler,” an outdated industry term that refers to “a motion picture, especially a cartoon or comedy, of 10-12 minutes duration and contained on one reel of film; popular especially in the era of silent films.”

This whole thing is beyond exciting (to say the least), especially given the surprise nature of it all, and although it hasn’t even been two years since we got the lush masterpiece that is Phantom Thread, it certainly feels like we’re long overdue for some new PTA and Anima seems like it’ll be just what we need to hold us over until his next feature.

Anima will hit select IMAX theaters (!) and Netflix on June 26 and 27, respectively.

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