Tag Archives: Deadpool

Why Disney Sacking James Gunn Is Bullshit

So over the weekend, Disney decided to fire writer/director James Gunn from his duties on the up and coming Guardians of the Galaxy 3. This is after Gunn had already penned and helmed the first two films for Marvel who are owned by Disney which went on to become huge box office hits and an important piece of the growing Marvel Cinematic Universe. Gunn was fired in relation to a handful of Tweets he made with jokes about rape and paedophilia, now on the surface and given Disney’s strict “family friendly” persona that yes, sacking someone who would make such Tweets is understandable. On the surface. Walt Disney Studios’ Chairman had this to say on the matter…

“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values and we have severed our business relationship with him.”

Fuck off Disney as if you’ve never been offensive in  the past. Which brings me nicely to my main gripe. I have a few problems with the whole thing and Disney’s blatant hypocrisy over the whole affair. Yes Gunn made some questionable Tweets…some of which are a decade old. Are Disney really going to bring up the past of someone as a negative about who/what they are today? If so, then I feel there should be a balance and on the subject of being fair – lets look at Disney’s past…

What about their animated propaganda film, Education For Death? For those not in the know, this was an animated short showing the evolution of a Nazi soldier form birth to adulthood. Given the fact that it was strongly believed that Walt Disney was a Nazi supporter/sympathiser. Would it be acceptable to bring this past up too then Disney? You know, just to be fair. Just imagine what it would be like if Disney also had one of their most famous characters like Donald Duck dressed as a Nazi giving a photo of Hitler the Nazi salute or reading Mein Kampf…

Donald Duck NaziDonald Duck Mein Kampf

Oh yeah, that happened too in the cartoon Der Fuehrer’s Face. Funny though, Disney don’t seem to bring this slice of their past up all that often, as if it was something they no longer associate themselves with as they were different back then to who they are now. A bit like James Gunn and his Tweets. You can’t walk around Disney World and line up for a Nazi Donald Duck ride for example, nor will you find any Nazi Donald Duck merchandise.

Or what about the fact that Walt Disney himself refused to hire women to work as animators at the studio? Its true, Disney felt that “women do not do any of the creative work” and declared “that work is performed entirely by young men”. So if you were a talented animator and female back then…well fuck you. No penis, no job.

Disney Sexist Letter.jpg

Yeah it all a bit unfair to bring up the past as a punishment for someone today isn’t it? Yet still – there’s more. Song of the South a Disney film surrounded by infamy and a film that still has never seen a home release in the U.S. But why? Mainly due to its massive racist under and overtones. Now to be fair, Disney have never fully banned the film, they have released clips and even songs from the film, most famously the Oscar winning Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah for example. Plus there is the Splash Mountain ride at Disney theme parks that is inspired by the movie…none of the racist stuff made it into the ride though for some reason. Still, even after all these years, the film has never been given a home release in the U.S. despite several times over the years where Disney have said they fully intend to do just that, the most recent of which was back in 2010 by Disney creative director Dave Bossert who said that Disney intend to give the film a U.S. release but still that has not happened. Does it really take over eight years to get a film released for the home market?

There is a lot more to Disney’s rather checkered and questionable past and some of it can be a bit more recent than the 1930s and 40s when times were different. I mean I could bring up their refusal to put up warning signs about the population of alligators at Disney World in Florida as they believe these warnings would break the illusion and magic they strive for at the theme park. Well lets be fair, they now have these warnings in place, but only after the death of a two year old boy in 2016. Its just a shame it took the death of a child before Disney did anything about it though eh?

Aligator Warning

Or what about the working conditions at Disneyland Paris where so far two employees have committed suicide over their treatment. With one of them leaving the suicide note of “Je ne veux pas retourner chez Mickey” (I don’t want to work for Mickey any more). Expecting staff do work longer hours for minimum wage and numerous staff cuts despite the increasing visitor numbers?

Maybe I’m getting a little off track here, but my point is that Disney sacking James Gunn over Tweets made a decade ago is more then a little hypocritical given their own past and some of their questionable standards. Much like Disney, Gunn is not the same person he was a decade ago they have both changed. Surely if people can and have forgiven Disney for some of their questionable history, then Disney can do the same with James Gunn? He clearly feels remorse over his past humor.

“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative.

I have regretted them for many years since – not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.

Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.”

If it really is Disney’s policy of sacking people who work for them over questionable jokes that person has made, then they’d have to fire pretty much any and everyone associated to the Disney company as everyone has made an off colour joke/comment in their lives.

Hey Disney, that fella that plays Tony Stark/Ironman in your movies – you may want to look into his past as you may find he has said and done some questionable things too, drugs, firearm offenses and the like…

But wait, I have another slice of hypocrisy for you. Disney have recently bought 21st Century Fox for $71.3 billion. That’s a big chunk of cash alright and Disney now own all the IPs and licences that 21st Century Fox owned, that includes the film rights of a certain other Marvel superhero…

Deadpool.jpg

Yup, Disney now own the Deadpool movies and if you’ve seen either of the two movies, then you know that they are hardly “family friendly” and really do not fit into the Disney mantra. But even more specifically, Deadpool 2‘s main villain is Firefist who was brought up in an orphanage and its made pretty clear that he was sexually abused there too…and there are several jokes about paedophilia within the film. The very same reason Disney have sacked James Gunn to begin with. The only difference is that Gunn’s comments are years old, Deadpool 2 is just over two months old. I’m still willing to bet that Deadpool 2 will see a home release and fully uncut with those paedophilia jokes in tact even though its now owned by Disney who clearly have a problem with such humor. The irony eh?

Moving on from Disney’s obvious hypocrisy, James Gunn was known as a comedy writer, he was known for his near the knuckle comments and jokes long before he was hired by Disney. So they must have already known what he was like beforehand right, they must have done their homework on the person they chose to head-up and be part of one of their biggest franchises? I mean, that would have been like Disney asking Richard Pyror to appear in a Disney film in the 70s/80s but not knowing he had a penchant for saying “nigga” beforehand. But now his past comments have been brought up…now they decide to sack him? Utter bullshit.

I don’t know James Gunn, never met the guy and for all I know he could be a complete prick. So my offering any kind of opinion on the man would be pretty pointless. But what about people who do know him, worked with him? His cast members from the Guardians of the Galaxy films as an example have spoken out on how much of a great guy he is and how wrong Disney are for sacking him. Actors like Dave Bautista

“I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this.. is one of the most loving,caring,good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him”

Or Selma Blair

“@JamesGunn I thank you for your talent, your decency and your evolution as a man. You propped me up when I was in a scary place, and guided me towards the decent and right thing to do. You have shown strength of character more than most anyone I know. You understood.”

Because if people are punished despite changing, then what does that teach people about owning mistakes and evolving? This man is one of the good ones.”

There’s a long list of celebs echoing similar views and opinions, they all know Disney are in the wrong here.

James Gunn 2

A petition has been started to get James Gunn reinstated and back working on  the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, and rightly so too. Disney should be offering Gunn an apology right about now while crawling back to him on their knees asking him to return. He has done nothing wrong. Do me a favor, sign the petition. Its currently smashing its target and even if Disney do not reverse their pathetic decision, at least it shows support for a man who has been wronged.

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Comic Book Film Fans Have Short Memories

There’s no doubt that the comic book movie genre is big business right now, what with both DC and Marvel creating their own shared universes on the big screen all with multiple films featuring interconnecting stories and characters. Then there are all the animated movies and TV shows and so on…

They seem to the the big trend film-makers are going for right now and for the foreseeable future too with plans for numerous films over the next few years, this genre shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. However, there is something I’ve noticed with some of the more recent comic book flicks how they are praised for being ‘the first’ of something. But are they?

First R Rated Comic Book Movie

Deadpool

When Deadpool was in production before its release in 2016, there were a lot of rumours and concerns that it would be a PG-13 rated flick – and this angered fans. Thankfully it was given an R rating keeping Deadpool’s iconic over the top violence, swearing and humour in tact and the film delivered on exactly what the fans wanted. When it was released, it was praised for being ‘the first R rated comic book movie’.

Sin City

But Sin City from Robert Rodriguez came out in 2005. Eleven years before Deadpool hit the screens. Sin City was rated R for its violence, nudity and swearing long before the ‘Merc with a Mouth’ was. And guess what, Sin City was not the first either.

What about Wesley Snipes as Blade? Hell, there is even an entire trilogy of the films between 1998-2004 all rated R. The third film even featured Ryan Reynolds who would go on to play Deadpool over a decade later. Sill not satisfied? In 1994 we got the final film from Brandon Lee with The Crow. Yup you guessed it, rated R over two decades before Deadpool was too. Now we getting somewhere right, I just mentioned a film that predated Deadpool and its R rating by twenty two years…I can do better.

The Punisher 1991

The Punisher from 1989, more than a quarter of a century before Deadpool. Yes this  Dolph Lundgren starring flick based on the Marvel comic book series was R rated twenty seven years before our favourite ‘Regenerating Degenerate’ did it in 2016. As far as I can tell, 1989’s The Punisher seems to be the first R rated comic book movie. Just before I move on (as I’m sure this will be bought up) The Punisher was released in America in 1991…but it was first released in Germany in 1989. And for those wondering, there are many more that were released between 1989 and 2016 including (but not only); Tank GirlJudge Dredd, Spawn, From HellRoad to PerditionConstantine, 300, Watchmen, Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service just to name a few.

Deadpool was not even close to being the first R rated comic book movie as we had almost thirty years of them previously.

First Female Led Comic Book Movie

Wonder Woman

Ahhhhh, Wonder Woman. A picture so ‘meh’ I couldn’t even be bothered to do a review of it. I quite honestly did not understand the huge praise the film got when it was released last year. It was the best (recent) DC movie yes I agree…but that didn’t make it a great film in its own right. Besides, ‘best DC film so far’ is hardly high praise is it? Anyway, I’m getting a little detracted here. It wasn’t the blandness of the flick that annoyed me, it was its labelling as being ‘the first female led comic book movie’. It wasn’t even the first Wonder Woman movie.

Wonder Woman 1974

Back in 1974 there was a Wonder Woman TV movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby. Okay so it was bad…really, really bad – but its not the quality of the end product that is being bought into question – its which was first. This TV movie was based on the Diana Prince: The New Wonder Woman comic book series and released forty three years before the 2017 film. Yeah I know what you are thinking, ‘TV movies don’t count’. Okay…

How about 1984’s Supergirl? The first cinematic female led comic book flick released as a spin-off of the Christopher Reeve Superman films and predates Wonder Woman by over three decades. Oh and believe me, there are more too. Elecktra from 2005 or 2004’s Catwoman? I can even raise you the master of schlock cinema producer Roger Corman with Vampirella from 1996. Oh and there was this…

Barb Wire

Barb Wire from 1996 and yes, the only reason I mentioned this was to include a picture of Pamela Anderson.

First Black Comic Book Movie

Black Panther

And all this incessant ranting brings things bang up to date with the release of Black Panther. Currently getting praise for being ‘the first black comic book movie’ and again, this is not entirely accurate. Now I admit that things get a little trickier here because there is a distinction that needs to be made. You see, there have been black superhero movies before Black Panther…but not necessarily ones that are based on comic books.

The likes of The Meteor Man from 1993 for instance has a black lead playing a superhero – but the film was not based on a comic book, yet a comic book series was released after the film by Marvel no less. Or what about 1994’s Blankman, a parody of superhero flicks from Damon Wayans.

Blankman

Of course you can’t talk about black superhero movies without mentioning 2008’s Hancock starring Will Smith in the titular role. But again, none of these films were ‘comic book movies’ but original superhero flicks with a black lead. But all of them came before Black Panther regardless. Still, I did specifically state ‘comic book movie’ meaning they have to be based on an exiting comic book. Oh yeah, I have some of those too, several of which I’ve already mentioned.

What about Steel from 1997? With Shaquille O’Neal in the lead role based on the DC comic series of the same name, which itself is a spin-off of Superman. That’s a black comic book movie before Black Panther. Then there are those films I have previously covered such as Spawn also from 1997 which starred Michael Jai White, 2004’s Catwoman not only had a black lead with Halle Berry but also the first female black led comic book film.

And to finish, quite possibly the most famous and popular black comic book movie…

Blade

Blade. Yes it looks like Black Panther‘s current ‘first black comic book movie’ praise is misplaced. Numerous other black actors were playing superheros and even comic book characters before Chadwick Boseman stepped into the shoes of T’Challa A.K.A Black Panther.