'Guardians of the Galaxy' cast defends James Gunn - Silver Screen Beat
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‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ cast members sign open letter in support of director James Gunn

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Guardians Cast
CHARLIE GRAY

More than a week after it was announced that Disney had fired James Gunn as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after a series of offensive, decade-old tweets began to resurface online, the Guardians cast has published an open letter in support of the filmmaker.

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, and Michael Rooker all signed the letter, which does not explicitly call for the reinstatement of Gunn but rather speaks to his character and the kind of person he was on set.

Guardians 3 was expected to begin shooting in Atlanta this fall and was dated for a 2020 release. In a statement issued after his firing, Gunn said that he understood and accepted “the business decisions taken” and that he takes “full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then.”

You can read the open letter from the Guardians of the Galaxy cast in its entirety below.

To our fans and friends:

We fully support James Gunn. We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten days to respond in order to think, pray, listen, and discuss. In that time, we’ve been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director of Volume 3 as well as discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding him.

Being in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies has been a great honor in each of our lives. We cannot let this moment pass without expressing our love, support, and gratitude for James. We are not here to defend his jokes of many years ago but rather to share out experience having spent many years together on set making Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2. The character he has shown in the wake of his firing is consistent with the man he was every day on set, and his apology, now and from years ago when first addressing these remarks, we believe is from the heart, a heart we all know, trust, and love. In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever. We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now.

Each of us looks forward to working with our friend James again in the future. His story isn’t over–not by a long shot.

There is little due process in the court of public opinion. James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial. Given the growing political divide in this country, it’s safe to say instances like this will continue, although we hope Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassinations and stop weaponizing mob mentality.

It is our hope that what has transpired can serve as an example for all of us to realize the enormous responsibility we have to ourselves and to each other regarding the use of our written words when we etch them in the digital stone; that we as a society may learn from this experience and in the future will think twice before we decide what we want to express; and in so learning perhaps can harness this capability to help and heal instead of hurting each other. Thank you for taking this time to read our words.

The Guardians of the Galaxy,

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, Pom Klementieff, Michael Rooker

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Brad Pitt, Emma Stone in talks to join ‘Babylon’ as Damien Chazelle’s latest lands at Paramount

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Damien Chazelle Babylon
KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES

After months-long negotiations, Paramount has finally reached a deal to acquire Damien Chazelle’s Babylon, the Oscar-winning La La Land director’s eagerly awaited new project set in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

While specific plot details are being kept tightly under wraps, sources tell Silver Screen Beat that the film is a Roaring Twenties-era drama that examines Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies and features characters both fictional and not.

Emma Stone — who has been attached to the project ever since Chazelle began shopping it to studios this past summer — is expected to play iconic Hollywood “it” girl Clara Bow in the film, while Brad Pitt is in talks to join as a fictional character said to be inspired by silent film star John Gilbert.

Despite quickly garnering attention upon arriving on the market, studios were hesitant to move on Babylon due to the film’s rather lengthy 180-page script and estimated $80-$100 million budget.

However, sources say Paramount execs were able to convince Chazelle to rework and cut more than 30 pages of the script, which significantly reduced the budget of the project and made it feel like a less risky investment for the studio.

Babylon is scheduled for a December 25, 2021 limited release and will expand wide January 7, 2022.

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French actress Valentine Monnier accuses Roman Polanski of violently raping her in 1975

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Roman Polanski
ANDREAS RENTZ/GETTY IMAGES

Roman Polanski, the Oscar-winning Polish filmmaker who fled the United States in the 1970s after admitting to drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl, is facing a new allegation of sexual misconduct.

In an interview with the Le Parisien newspaper, French actress Valentine Monnier claims Polanski raped her at a ski chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland in 1975 when she was 18-years-old, describing the alleged encounter as “extremely violent.”

“He hit me, he beat me until I surrendered, then he raped me, inflicting upon me all the vicissitudes. I had just turned 18 and my first relationship had been just a few months ago. I thought I was dying,” the actress said.

Polanski, who has been living in exile in France since 1978, cannot face any type of legal action over Monnier’s allegation due to the country’s 20-year statute of limitations.

“I denounce this crime knowing that there can’t be any punishment, in an attempt to end exceptions, impunity,” Monnier added. “Public figures are being considered as models. By idolizing the guilty ones, we prevent people from realizing the serious consequences of their acts.”

Polanski’s lawyer, Hervé Temime, said in a statement that his client “firmly denies all accusations of rape,” and pointed out the timing of Monnier’s allegation, which comes a week before the release of Polanski’s new film J’accuse (An Officer and a Spy)

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John Boyega to star in Netflix thriller ‘Rebel Ridge’ from ‘Green Room’ director Jeremy Saulnier

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John Boyega
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Star Wars actor John Boyega has been tapped to play the lead role in Netflix‘s Rebel Ridge, the latest thriller from Green Room director Jeremy Saulnier, Silver Screen Beat can confirm.

Boyega, who will reprise his role as Finn in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker next month, is set to play an ex-marine who is forced to go up against a group of corrupt, racist cops.

The film is described as a high-velocity thriller that explores systemic American injustices through bone-breaking action sequences, suspense, and dark humor, according to Variety.

In addition to serving as writer-director, Saulnier is producing the film along with Anish Savjani, Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino. Macon Blair — a frequent Saulnier collaborator — is executive producing.

Rebel Ridge marks the second project between Saulnier and Netflix following last year’s action-thriller Hold the Dark starring Jeffrey Wright and Alexander Skarsgard.

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