Dave Bautista put his career on the line to defend 'Guardians of the Galaxy' director James Gunn

HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 19:  Director James Gunn (L) and actor Dave Bautista at the premiere of Disney and Marvel's "Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2" at Dolby Theatre on April 19, 2017 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
James Gunn and Dave Bautista (Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Back when James Gunn got fired from directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it was his Marvel cast member Dave Bautista who was his most vocal supporter.

Though the other members of the cast eventually chimed in with him, it was the ex-wrestler who plays Drax The Destroyer to deadpan perfection who didn't think twice before speaking out.

But in speaking out at the time, Bautista's management feared he could wreck his burgeoning acting career.

“I wasn’t so concerned about my career at that point,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

“I figured if my career was over, I could always fall back on professional wrestling.

“I’m with a different agency now, but I think my agents at the time were a little concerned. (Laughs.) They were never negative about it; they were never judgmental about it, but they were also worried that I would damage my career. But they knew how I felt about it, personally.”

Gunn was fired in July, 2018, after bad taste tweets he'd published over a decade ago were discovered and re-published by a far-right activist.

In them, Gunn made jokes about rape and paedophilia, with Disney quickly acting to remove him from the production of the movie, despite howls of outrage from fans of the series.

Bautista as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy (Credit: Disney/Marvel)
Bautista as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy (Credit: Disney/Marvel)

A petition quickly gained more than 430,000 signatures, but the studio initially would not budge.

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The rest of the crew did eventually come on board in sticking up for Gunn, but Bautista's immediate response put their initial inaction into some relief.

Then, months later, in March this year, he was unexpectedly reinstated.

Filming for the third Guardians of the Galaxy, which may or may not feature Chris Hemsworth's Thor, has now been delayed some due to the Gunn incident.

Gunn won't start making it until he's finished making Suicide Squad sequel The Suicide Squad for Warner Bros, which is due out in 2020.