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?
Netflix releases a stunning first trailer for Alfonso Cuarón’s black-and-white family drama ‘Roma’
Ahead of the film’s debut at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, Netflix has released the stunning first trailer for Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón’s black-and-white drama Roma, which is also set to play at the New York Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival in the coming months.
Roma is set in Mexico City in the early 1970s and follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young domestic worker for a family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma in Mexico City. Delivering an artful love letter to the women who raised him, Cuarón draws on his own childhood to create a vivid and emotional portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst the political turmoil of the 1970s.
“Ninety percent of the scenes represented in the film are scenes taken out of my memory,” Cuarón told IndieWire last month. “Sometimes directly, sometimes a bit more obliquely. It’s about a moment of time that shaped me, but also a moment of time that shaped a country. It was the beginning of a long transition in Mexico.”
After its run on the festival circuit later this year, Netflix will release Roma in theaters and on its streaming service in December. You can check out the trailer for the film below.
Disney has no plans to reinstate James Gunn as director of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’
Despite the strong support of nearly 400,000 fans via a Change.org petition and an open letter from the Guardians of the Galaxy cast themselves, Disney and Marvel have no plans to rehire James Gunn as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 following his firing last month.
Variety reports that Gunn and Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn recently met to discuss the firing, which came 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.
While the meeting was described as “civil and professional,” Horn only decided to take the meeting “as a courtesy to clear the air with Gunn” and was not considering giving him a second chance, despite the pleas of Gunn’s agents. Sources with insider knowledge say Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was out of town at the time of the meeting and was unable to attend, but supports Horn’s decision not to reinstate Gunn.
Earlier this month, 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 production on the third installment in the critically acclaimed franchise early next year.
Bautista has been particularly vocal about Gunn’s firing on social media, writing in one tweet 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.”
Guardians 3 is scheduled to be released May 1, 2020, but, depending on how long it takes Disney and Marvel to find a replacement for Gunn, that date could, and will most likely, change.
YouTube forced to remove ‘The Nun’ jump-scare ad after getting complaints from terrified users
On Monday, YouTube announced that it had removed a video advertisement for The Nun, the upcoming next installment in The Conjuring franchise, for being in violation of their shocking content policy. However, it appears the ad in question only came to the video-sharing site’s attention after scaring the bejesus out of some very unsuspecting users.
“Warning! If you see an ad on YouTube with the volume sign being turned down and nothing else, it’s a jump-scare for The Nun movie coming out,” one Twitter user wrote last week. “I advise you look away and or turn down the volume if you have anxiety or just straight up hate jump-scares.”
Just a few days later, the official Twitter account for Team YouTube responded to the tweet, which has been retweeted more than 136,000 times since Sunday, saying that the advertisement was no longer running on their ad network.
The ad isn’t gone altogether from YouTube, though, as it has been reuploaded to the platform by dozens of users, one of which says they were “shook” after seeing the six-second clip at 3 a.m. one night. It begins with a volume icon going up and down against a black background before a horrifying, shrieking demonic-looking nun appears out of nowhere.
If you’re brave enough, you can check out the ad for yourself below. Don’t say we didn’t warn you, though.