In light of James Gunn being fired as director of Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Dave Bautista — more commonly known as Batista following his stint in WWE — says he’s ready to quit the Marvel Cinematic Universe if Disney refuses to use Gunn’s script in the upcoming sequel. Legally speaking, there’s no guarantee he can walk away from his contract under the current circumstances, but we can be sure he won’t be asking nicely.
To recap, James Gunn was fired as the director of the franchise he helmed for Marvel Studios through what Bautista claims was a “smear campaign.” Gunn’s old tweets from before his days with Disney were uncovered and made public, causing the studio to quickly remove him from their future projects due to the pedophilic nature of his jokes. Gunn has repeatedly apologized for his “reactionary” content long before this current ordeal, but Disney cut ties with the director just hours before his scheduled Comic-Con appearance.
Since then, the cast of Guardian of the Galaxy have all come to Gunn’s aid. It started with a few short tweets from each member acknowledging the news before a wider personal statement was released asking for his reinstatement and claiming that the “the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now.”
Dave Bautista, who plays Drax the Destroyer in the franchise, was much more vocal on the matter throughout, regularly tweeting his stance and more recently saying that it is “pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis.”
As of today, Bautista has offered a sort of ultimatum to Disney. Speaking to Shortlist, the actor says he’ll attempt to exit the entire franchise if James Gunn’s finished script isn’t used in Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Citing Gunn as “one of the most loving, caring, good natured people I have ever met,” Bautista says he would be doing Gunn a “disservice” by remaining in the franchise if his script is tossed aside.
But as Hollywood contracts go, simply quitting isn’t quite so simple. “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,” said Bautista acknowledging that having Gunn not be part the production wouldn’t release him from his contract. There’s plenty of ways he could get kicked off the project himself, but we can’t imagine he’ll be asking nicely given his stance on the matter.