'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.

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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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Netflix releases a stunning first trailer for Alfonso Cuarón’s black-and-white family drama ‘Roma’

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Roma
NETFLIX

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.

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“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.

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Disney has no plans to reinstate James Gunn as director of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’

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James Gunn
CHRISTOPHER POLK/GETTY IMAGES

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.

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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.

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YouTube forced to remove ‘The Nun’ jump-scare ad after getting complaints from terrified users

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The Nun Conjuring 2 YouTube
WARNER BROS.

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.”

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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.

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