James Gunn is hard at work on the final days of shooting Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, which will be the final entry in Marvel’s intergalactic trilogy. As shooting comes to a close, the internet started circulating calls to replace Chris Pratt as Star-Lord. Pratt’s scruffy antihero also popped up in the Thor: Love and Thunder trailer, so he’s getting a lot of time in front of fans, and some of those fans aren’t crazy about the casting. One post suggested he be replaced entirely, and that’s when Gunn got involved.
“For what? Because of your made-up, utterly-false beliefs about him?” Gunn asked. “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.”
Gunn is likely referring to frequent rumors about Pratt’s faith, particularly as it pertains to the LGBTQ community. Despite numerous rumors that Pratt is a member of Hillsong, he “is not …and has never been” a member of that church. Actually, he reportedly attends Zoe Church, which Church Clarity has ranked as “unclear” in their policy on LGBTQ acceptance. In 2019, Pratt himself addressed the criticism, saying his church “opens their doors to absolutely everyone.”
Pratt’s MCU costars have defended him in the past. Robert Downey Jr. called him “a real Christian who lives by principle, [who] has never demonstrated anything but positivity and gratitude.” Pratt’s fellow Guardians star Zoe Saldana publicly tweeted him an encouragement, saying, “Your family, friends, colleagues & everyone who’s ever crossed paths with you knows your heart and your worth!” Even the famously politically progressive Mark Ruffalo praised Pratt for being “as solid a man there is. I know him personally, and instead of casting aspersions, look at how he lives his life. He is just not overtly political as a rule. This is a distraction. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize, friends.”
Gunn continued to stand by Pratt this week when questions were raised about Pratt’s church. “I know the church he currently goes to. Do you?” Gunn challenged. “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, OK, I’ll believe this terrible thing I heard online about this celebrity!'”