James Gunn defends Chris Pratt following calls to recast Star-Lord

The director said he will “never be replaced”

James Gunn has defended Chris Pratt against calls to recast his character Star-Lord in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.

The Guardians Of The Galaxy director responded to a side-by-side photo comparison of Pratt and Patrick Wilson posted by a fan, captioned: “Marvel. Hear me out. Just… replace him.”

In response, Gunn wrote: “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.”

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After a Twitter user asked if he was “cool with him being part of a homophobic church,” Gunn replied: “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!’)”

Pratt has been affiliated with the Zoe Church, a church founded by Chad Veach that’s modelled after Christian megachurch Hillsong. In 2015, Hillsong’s global senior pastor, Brian Houston, wrote a blog post about their views on LGBTQ people, writing: “We are a gay welcoming church but we are not a church that affirms a gay lifestyle.”

Pratt has been criticised in the past for his affiliation with the church. In 2019, Elliott Page called out the actor for supporting an “infamously anti-LGBTQ” church following an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

In response, Pratt denied the church has anti-LGBTQ views. “I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone,” he responded. He added that “no church defines me or my life, and I am not a spokesman for any church or any group of people”.

NME has reached out to Pratt’s representatives for comment.

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Gunn is currently filming Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, starring Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan. Will Poulter has also joined the cast as Adam Warlock, alongside Chudwudi Iwuji in an undisclosed role.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is scheduled to be released on May 5, 2023.

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