Dave Bautista Threatens to Quit ‘Guardians’ If Disney Trashes James Gunn’s Script: ‘Release Me From My Contract or Recast Me’

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Dave Bautista is continuing to speak out about his “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn being fired by Disney. Following a critical tweet in which he said it was “nauseating” to work for Disney after Gunn’s removal from the next “Guardians” sequel, Bautista is now threatening to quit the franchise all together if Disney trashes Gunn’s script. The actor spoke to ShortList ahead of the release of his September film “Final Score” and said his focus is now on making sure Gunn’s script is maintained.

“Where I’m at right now is that 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,” Bautista said. “I’d be doing James a disservice if I didn’t.”

Bautista previously wrote on Twitter that he would only be reprising the role of Drax the Destroying in “Vol. 3″ because of his contract obligation. “I will do what I’m legally obligated to do, but ‘Guardians’ without James Gunn is not what I signed up for,” Bautista said. “‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ without James Gunn just isn’t ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’”

Bautista was the first actor to speak publicly about Gunn’s firing when he wrote on Twitter he was “no OK” with the decision hours after Gunn was let go. Disney severed all ties with Gunn on July 20 after jokes about pedophilia, rape, and more controversial topics that the director made several years ago resurfaced on social media. The actor also joined his co-stars Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, Michael Rooker, and Karen Gillan to sign an open letter supporting Gunn.

When asked by ShortList if he thought the letter could result in Gunn being rehired, Bautista did not appear confident. “I don’t think [it] will get him re-hired,” Bautista said. “But I hope it opens people’s eyes to James’ character.”

Gunn directed Bautista on the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie and its sequel. Marvel has sent a tentative 2020 release date for the next sequel, although that could be pushed back depending on how long it takes to hire a replacement director. According to Bautista, Gunn turned in his draft for “Vol. 3” before he was fired.