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?
2019 SAG Awards nominations revealed: See the complete list of this year’s nominees
Awkwafina and Laverne Cox were on hand to announce nominees for the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards for outstanding individual, cast, and ensemble performances in film and television of 2018 at the Pacific Design Center’s SilverScreen Theater in Hollywood on Tuesday morning.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s hit remake of A Star Is Born picked up the most film nominations with four nods, including Best Actor for Cooper, Best Actress for Gaga, Best Supporting Actor for Sam Elliott, and Best Ensemble.
The Favourite, BlackKklansman, and Vice also picked up a number of nominations on the film side, while The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Ozark, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story dominated the television side.
The 25th Annual SAG Awards ceremony, which does not yet have a confirmed host, will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
The complete list of nominees is below:
Theatrical Motion Picture nominees
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, Vice
Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place
Margot Robbie, Mary, Queen of Scots
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
A Star Is Born
Crazy Rich Asians
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Avengers: Infinity War
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Mission: Impossible — Fallout
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie
Antonio Banderas, Genius
Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal
Antony Hopkins, King Lear
Bill Pullman, The Sinner
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie
Amy Adams, Sharp Objects
Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannamora
Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects
Penelope Cruz, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Emma Stone, Maniac
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Joseph Feinnes, The Handmaid’s Tale
John Krasinski, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Julia Garner, Ozark
Laura Linney, Ozark
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Alison Brie, G.L.O.W.
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Jane Fonda, Grace & Frankie
Lily Tomlin, Grace & Frankie
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader, Barry
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Henry Winkler, Barry
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Better Call Saul
The Handmaid’s Tale
This Is Us
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
The Walking Dead
Scott Derrickson set to return to the director’s chair for Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ sequel
With Avengers: Endgame officially on the horizon, Marvel has quietly begun to put the pieces together for what’s to come after the eagerly awaited next chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe hits theaters next April, which means finally getting plans for a Doctor Strange sequel on the drawing board.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scott Derrickson, who co-wrote and directed the original Doctor Strange film in 2016, has finalized a deal to helm its sequel, which will see Benedict Cumberbatch reprise his role as the titular mystical superhero.
While no writers are attached to the Doctor Strange sequel quite yet, a source with insider knowledge tells Silver Screen Beat that Marvel is eyeing Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill, who co-wrote the original along with Derrickson, to begin working on a script.
THR also reports that Marvel isn’t expected to get production on the Doctor Strange sequel underway until at least early 2020, meaning the film likely won’t hit theaters until around mid-2021 or possibly even later in the year.
Also set to return for the sequel is Benedict Wong, who plays Wong, a master of the mystic arts and Stephen Strange’s right-hand man, and Rachel McAdams, who plays Christine Palmer, an emergency surgeon and Strange’s love interest.
Marvel had no comment on the news.
Phoenix readers: Enter to win passes to an advance screening of ‘Bumblebee’ next week
Paramount Pictures will release Bumblebee, the upcoming Transformers prequel, on December 21 and they’re giving Silver Screen Beat readers in Phoenix a chance to attend an advance screening of the film before it officially opens in theaters.
Our readers in the Phoenix area can click on this link right now to enter to win passes (good for you and one guest) to an advance screening of Bumblebee happening Tuesday, December 18 at Harkins Tempe Marketplace at 6:30 p.m.
The sweepstakes have already begun and winners only will be notified by Monday, December 17 at 6 a.m. local time. Good luck! Below is the official trailer for Bumblebee as well as some additional details about the film.
Directed by: Travis Knight
Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, Jason Drucker, Pamela Adlon, and Stephen Schneider
Opens: Friday, December 21
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence
Synopsis: On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.