MCU

'Guardians of the Galaxy 3': James Gunn shoots down a huge casting rumor

“Yeah, okay, I’ll believe this terrible thing I heard online about this celebrity!”

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, some debates will probably rage on forever. Who was was right, Captain America or Iron Man? Did Thanos actually have some good ideas? But perhaps the most divisive debate of them all is simple: What’s the deal with Chris Pratt?

We won’t wade too far into the details, but the tl;dr version is that Pratt’s alleged association with a certain Christian megachurch has drawn criticism due to the church's alleged LGBTQ+ policies. In response, some Marvel fans have criticized the studio for giving Pratt the starring role in one of its biggest franchises, while other fans (and many of his MCU co-workers) have frequently come to his defense in the past

This debate resurfaced after Pratt’s MCU character Star-Lord (and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy) turned up in the trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder. But this time, an unexpected celebrity came to Star-Lord’s defense. None other than Guardians director James Gunn.

On April 23, a relatively small Twitter account with just over a thousand followers tweeted a pair of photos showing Chris Pratt alongside Patrick Wilson and asking Marvel to recast Star-Lord (to be fair, the two actors do look very similar). In response, James Gunn (1.2 million Twitter followers) wrote the following:

For what? Because of your made-up, utterly-false beliefs about him? For something that someone else told you about him that’s not true? Chris Pratt would never be replaced as Star-Lord but, if he ever was, we would all be going with him.
He isn’t. I know the church he currently goes to. Do you? (The answer is you don’t, but you heard from someone who heard from someone who heard from someone where he goes to church, so decided, “yeah, okay, I’ll believe this terrible thing I heard online about this celebrity!”)

Does any of this matter? Probably not. Will fans and critics continue to question Pratt’s personal beliefs? Yes. Will Pratt continue to get cast in high-paying roles? Also yes.

But if there was any doubt over who is playing Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (not that there ever really was, if we’re being honest), you can put that debate to rest. Pratt and the rest of the cast will return for one more round. After that, the future is unclear, though all signs suggest the upcoming movie will be the end for this particular franchise — and many of its characters, too.

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 premieres May 5, 2023.