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(Credit: Gage Skidmore)

Film

James Gunn defends Chris Pratt amid re-casting calls

@Russellisation

Fan favourite filmmaker, James Gunn, has defended Chris Pratt amid calls for his character of Star-Lord to be recast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Responding to a photo comparison of Pratt and lookalike actor Patrick Wilson that a fan had posted to Twitter, captioning the image, “Marvel. Hear me out. Just… replace him,” the Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker responded with controlled frustration.

“For what?” Gunn wrote, “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”. 

To further heighten the Twitter tension, one user asked him if he was “cool with him being part of a homophobic church,” to which the filmmaker gave an equally sharp response. Taking to the social media platform, Gunn wrote: “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!’)”. 

Calls for the actor to be replaced in the Marvel movies come after Pratt was thought to be affiliated with the Zoe Church, a Christian congregation founded by Chad Veach, modelled after the megachurch, Hillsong. Back in 2015, the global senior pastor of Hillsong, Brian Houston, came under criticism for posting a blog post that stated, “We are a gay welcoming church but we are not a church that affirms a gay lifestyle”. 

The actor has previously come out in defence of the church, writing on his Instagram story in 2019, “I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone…no church defines me or my life, and I am not a spokesman for any church or any group of people”.