James Gunn pushes back against the call to replace Chris Pratt at MCU

An increasing number of Marvel fans have called for Chris Pratt to be replaced as Star-Lord of the MCU – where he has appeared four times – and now Guardians of the Galaxy author / director James Gunn has the answer.

For several years, the actor has faced accusations of attending an anti-LGBTQ church in Los Angeles affiliated with Hillsong Church, which has long been criticized for homophobia. With Pratt ready to repeat his role in Thor: Love and Thunder in July, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special at Disney + in December, and Guardians Vol. 3 in 2023, fans have once again rallied to get the actor replaced. Gunn fought back against the narrative surrounding the 42-year-old and the places where he practices his religion.

“Marvel. Listen to me. Just … replace him,” wrote one fan in a viral tweet that included a picture of Pratt next to The art of magic actor Patrick Wilson.

“For what?” replied Gunn. “Because of your fabricated, completely false beliefs about him? For something that someone else told you about him, is not true? Chris Pratt would never be replaced as Star-Lord, but if he ever was, we would all take with him. “

When Gunn was fired Guardians Vol. 3 in 2018, after right-wing extremist figures resurfaced some insensitive and problematic jokes he made on Twitter about a decade ago, Pratt was among the contributors who signed a letter urging Disney to reinstate him. Pratt said he was “excited” to have Suicide Squad and Founder of Peace helmer back in the director’s chair when Disney re-hired him.

Gunn responded to several tweets about Jurassic World franchise star this week who also denies he could be considered homophobic.

“I know the church he’s going to at the moment. Do you?” Gunn wrote to another Twitter user. “The answer is that you do not, but you heard from someone who heard from someone who heard from someone where he goes to church, so decided, ‘yes, okay, I want to believe this terrible thing, I heard online about this celebrity! ‘”

When his comments started circulating on Twitter, someone suggested that Gunn was just trying to “protect that paycheck.” He simply replied, “It’s sad that you see the world that way.”

This is far from the first time Pratt or his closest have addressed such allegations.

“It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church that ‘hates a certain group of people’ and is ‘infamous anti-LGBTQ,'” Pratt wrote on his Instagram Stories in 2019, as reported by CNN. “Nothing could be further from the truth. I walk into a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone.”

Both Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr., his teammates in Avengers: Infinity War and Playoffsdefended him against critics in 2020.

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