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?
The incredibly unsettling first trailer for ‘Pet Sematary’ is here to send chills down your spine
As part of Hollywood’s never-ending quest to keep the Stephen King Cinematic Universe™ going, Paramount Pictures released the first trailer for Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kölsch’s adaptation of Pet Sematary early this morning and I’m blown away by just how great this thing really looks.
If you’re unfamiliar with the source material, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground near the family’s new home.
But when tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his rather unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences. Sounds creepy, right? The 1989 adaptation still gives me chills to this day and I couldn’t help but feel those same chills while watching this trailer.
The sound of the snare drum paired with the eerie ensemble of strings, the creepy animal mask-wearing children marching in formation into the desolate woods, and that final shot of the spooky misspelled sign outside the cemetery make this one hell of a first look to remember.
I can’t wait to see what Widmyer and Kölsch have in store for us with their take on what is undoubtedly one of the scariest novels I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Speaking of which, if you haven’t read the book yet, you change that right now by picking it up on Amazon for about $9 with free Prime shipping.
Pet Sematary also stars Jeté Laurence and Hugo and Lucas Lavoie and will open in theaters on April 5, 2019. You can check out the newly released trailer for the film below.
James Gunn poised to make a comeback by writing and directing ‘Suicide Squad 2’
After being fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 by Disney earlier this year, director James Gunn is poised to make a comeback with uh…(checks notes) Suicide Squad 2? That’s according to TheWrap, who says Gunn is currently in talks to write and possibly direct the upcoming DC movie.
“Gunn will have a completely new take on the property, in which DC supervillains are recruited by the government to carry out secret missions too dirty for the likes of Superman and Batman,” the trade reports. So I guess Warner Bros. just left Gavin O’Connor out in the cold or something?
Look, not only does this prove that we live in the dumbest fucking timeline to ever exist, but it also proves that Warner Bros. was smart enough to capitalize on Disney’s incredibly stupid decision to kowtow to the demands of alt-right pieces of shit like Mike Cernovich.
As you may recall, Warner Bros. was previously eyeing the likes of Mel Gibson and Daniel Espinosa to write and direct Suicide Squad 2 after David Ayer parted ways with the franchise due to creative differences he had with the studio execs on the first movie.
Suicide Squad 2 will see Will Smith and Margot Robbie reprise their respective roles as Deadshot and Harley Quinn along with Jared Leto as the Joker, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, and Jay Hernandez as El Diablo.
Annapurna drops untitled Fox News movie about Roger Ailes two weeks before production
In a rather strange turn of events, Variety is reporting that Annapurna Pictures has dropped the untitled Fox News movie starring Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman just mere weeks before production was set to begin on the project. So where does a movie go now that it no longer has financing and distribution?
To Focus Features! Well, that’s according to sources Variety spoke to, but nothing is set in stone as of right now. Bron Studios, who financed Clint Eastwood’s upcoming drug thriller The Mule, is also expected to come on board the project as well.
Annapurna’s reasoning for dropping the project is about as clear as mud at the moment, but, if the reports from the trades are any indication, it sounds like the budget for this thing was getting just too darn big for the studio to handle and “kept growing bigger by the day,” according to Variety.
The untitled Fox News movie chronicles the downfall of Roger Ailes, the former chairman and CEO of the conservative television media empire that broadcasts garbage from right-wing sleazeballs like Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham every weeknight, amid multiple sexual abuse allegations.
The film’s all-star includes Theron as Megyn Kelly, Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, Margot Robbie as a fictional Fox News associate producer, John Lithgow as Ailes, and Malcolm McDowell as Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox and News Corp.