Chris Pratt scrapped a string of press interviews at San Diego Comic-Con last month (Jul18) because he was too shell-shocked by the firing of Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn.
Disney and Marvel Studios bosses dropped Gunn from the franchise’s forthcoming third installment last month (Jul18) after ill-advised Twitter jokes he made about paedophilia several years ago were unearthed.
The decision to axe the filmmaker emerged on the second day of the hugely-popular San Diego Comic-Con event, and the movies’ leading man admits he had to scale back his media appearances because he was still trying to process the news.
“I ended up not doing a lot of interviews around that time just because it was so shocking,” Chris tells The Associated Press.
Pratt and his co-stars, including Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, subsequently signed an open letter voicing their support for Gunn, urging Disney executives to reconsider his firing.
“Although I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man,” the actor captioned an image of the cast letter he posted on Instagram. “I’d personally love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3.”
A replacement filmmaker has yet to be announced, but Disney officials appear to be standing firm in their decision, and Chris, who portrays Peter Quill – aka Star-Lord – in the films, insists he’s still dealing with the fall-out following the drama a month later.
“It’s not an easy time,” he says. “We all love James and he’s a good friend of ours, but we also really love playing the Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s a complicated situation for everybody. And you know, we just want to move forward and do what’s right and be the best people we can be.”
Addressing the cast comments Chris and his colleagues released on 30 July (18), he explains, “All I know is we put a lot of time, thought and effort into the statement that we released about it. And I think we all kind of want that statement to be essentially what we have to say about it. And we were pretty clear and honest about how we feel.”
Pratt’s latest remarks emerge days after Bautista, who portrays Drax the Destroyer, declared he would quit his role if studio chiefs ditched the script completed by Gunn before his firing.
“Where I’m at right now is that if (Disney/Marvel) doesn’t use that script, then I’m going to ask them to release me from my contract, cut me out or recast me,” he told ShortList. “I’d be doing James a disservice.”
Disney bosses have not directly commented on Bautista’s threat, but sources told The Hollywood Reporter they do plan to keep Gunn’s screenplay for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Production on the second sequel in the blockbuster series had been due to begin this autumn (18), ahead of a 2020 release, but it’s not yet known if the schedule will remain in place following the drama.
Gunn has since apologised for the tweets, insisting he’s not the man he used to be when he wrote and sent them.