'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Cast Posts Open Letter Supporting Reinstatement Of Director James Gunn

10 days ago, writer/director James Gunn was abruptly fired by The Walt Disney Company after an alt-right political group created a bad faith "controversy" about a bunch of Gunn's old tweets from nearly a decade ago, many of which contained bad jokes about pedophilia.

Gunn is no longer at the helm of the Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise, but his high-profile cast members – many of whom have already issued individual statements supporting Gunn over the past few days – have now joined forces to publish an open letter supporting their director and friend. Read the full Guardians of the Galaxy letter below.

Guardians of the Galaxy Letter

Cast members Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, and Michael Rooker all signed the statement, which you can read in the tweet below or typed out in full underneath it.

An Open Letter from the Cast of Guardians of the Galaxy

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 our 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 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 the time to read our words.

The Guardians of the Galaxy

If you're wondering where /Film stands regarding Gunn and this whole situation, I'll direct you to this episode of our /Film Daily podcast in which we discuss the entire scenario in great detail.

In the aftermath of Gunn's firing, a petition asking Disney to reinstate the filmmaker has gathered more than 335,000 signatures. I initially thought that there was no way Disney would hire him back because it would require studio executives to admit that they made a mistake, but according to Variety:

Sources say there has been a growing feeling that Gunn could be reinstated, especially because Marvel and Disney have been unusually radio-silent on who could replace him since the firing. Production is slated to start at the top of 2019, and following Gunn's removal from the film, it was thought that Marvel and Disney would need to move quickly to replace him, since the replacement would likely have to do some work on the script.

With Walt Disney chairman Bob Iger out on vacation currently, insiders believed a decision would not be made until he returned to work.

I don't want to get my hopes up, but it certainly sounds like Disney has heard the overwhelming amount of negative feedback to this decision loud and clear. Could Gunn be back in the director's chair for Guardians Vol. 3 when all is said and done?