Actor says it's "pretty nauseating to work for someone who'd empower a smear campaign by fascists."
"I will do what I'm legally obligated to do but 'Guardians' without James Gunn is not what I signed up for," Bautista tweeted Sunday night when asked by a fan if he was returning to play his character, Drax the Destroyer.
"'GOTG' w/o James Gunn just isn't 'GOTG,'" he continued. "It's also pretty nauseating to work for someone who'd empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis. That's just how I feel."
I will do what Im legally obligated to do but @Guardians without @JamesGunn is not what I signed up for. GOTG w/o @JamesGunn just isn’t GOTG. Its also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis . That’s just how I feel https://t.co/Ym4FwruVDu— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) August 5, 2018
"What will you do when the #cybernazis attack you?" he tweeted at the time. "Who will stand by you? Who will cowardly distance themselves from you? Who will punish you for horrible JOKES in the past instead of defending you for INSPIRING millions?"
Although he has been the most vocal and opinionated, Bautista isn't the only member of the "GOTG" team to speak out against Gunn's firing. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Pom Klementieff, Michael Rooker and Gunn's brother, Sean, all shared an open letter expressing support for Gunn and asking fans to "stop weaponizing mob mentality."
In the note, the cast said they're "encouraged by the outpouring of support" of those who want to see James reinstated as director, as well as "discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracies" against him. They also asked that, "given the growing political divide in this country," they hope "Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassinations and stop weaponizing mob mentality."
"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," the note read.
In addition to the letter, Pratt added a note on his personal Instagram page, "Although I don't support James Gunn's inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man. I'd personally love to see him reinstated as director of 'Volume 3.' If you please, read the following statement -- signed by our entire cast."
Read the letter in full below.
Gunn co-wrote and directed the first two installments of the franchise, and was working on the writing the third. The filmmaker also was an executive producer on the recent Marvel blockbuster, "Avengers: Infinity War," in which the main cast of "GOTG" appeared.
Disney has not yet responded to TooFab's request for comment.