At last report, Disney Pictures has apparently put the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” film on hold indefinitely in the wake of James Gunn’s departure. We know that the film has effectively scratched plans to shoot early next year for a likely May 2020 release (though that was never officially set).
We also suspect that whomever takes over will likely be subjected to the same sort of criticism and potentially underperforming box-office that greeted Ron Howard on Disney’s “Solo” this year. Like it or not there’s blood in the water and no matter how good it is, it will be seen as a compromised project.
In the midst of all this craziness is actor Dave Bautista who plays Drax. The former wrestler has been steadfast and vocal in his support of Gunn, denouncing Disney’s actions in regards to what happened and previously tried to use the leverage of threatening to not do the movie if Disney didn’t at least use Gunn’s script.
In an interview on “The Jonathan Ross Show” this week in the UK, Bautista now confirms the film is on hold and suggests he’s done with the franchise:
“There’s a bit of an issue. It’s a bittersweet conversation. No – it’s a bitter, bitter conversation, because I’m not really happy with what they’ve done with James Gunn. They’re putting the movie off. It’s on hold indefinitely. To be honest with you, I don’t know if I want to work for Disney… I’ve been very vocal about the way I feel. I’m not afraid to admit the way I feel.”
Separately he also spoke with HeyUGuys in a video interview to promote the UK release of action thriller “Final Score” and he was asked if he initially had any hesitations about being vocal about his opinion:
“I’m very aware that this could cost me a job I care for very much. It’s an integrity issue and loyalty issue. So, no, I’m not going to bite my tongue for anything, that’s just who I am as a person. I’ve tried to be very choosey about what I say and how I say, I don’t necessarily mean to be disrespectful but at the same time I have to say what’s on my mind and in my heart.
If it costs me a job then that’s just what happens. You can’t threaten a poor man with poverty; I grew up poor, I know what it’s like to be poor. I’m not afraid of losing money, it means nothing to me. I will wrestle in backyards in front of 10 people if I have to to make a living, so I’m not gonna be flexible with my integrity. I’m just going to speak my mind and try not to be disrespectful. This is directed at certain people, not Marvel or any of those executives who I love very much.”
At present Marvel hasn’t announced which ‘Phase 4’ project they intend to put in its place, though there has been murmurs of “Doctor Strange 2” or “Black Widow” potentially moving up. In either case, the studio’s plans for 2020 and beyond are now unclear with next July’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home” the sole post-fourth “Avengers” film officially announced.