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James Gunn lambasts ‘racist’ troll over comment about new Guardians of the Galaxy 3 casting

DC studios boss James Gunn hit out at a social media commenter who questioned the casting of Guardians of the Galaxy’s newest villain.

The director shared his excitement about Chukwudi Iwuji joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as The High Evolutionary on his Instagram Monday (6 March).

Nigerian-British actor Iwuji will play Rocket’s creator in the franchise’s third and final instalment, which is due to be released in cinemas 5 May.

“Can’t wait for you all to meet this guy. @chukwudi_iwuji #GotGVol3 #highevolutionary,” Gunn captioned his post alongside a photo of the actor in character.

Unfortunately, some people in Gunn’s comments questioned Iwuju’s casting due to his skin colour, despite the fact that the character is purple in the comics.

“Damnit… another white guy they made into a black guy,” one troll wrote. “Why couldn’t they just leave him white or i dont know…pick a different minority? How about Asian or gasp! A Latino?(how many Latinos and Asians in MCU? Like total of 5??) Or make him an Indian or something… because they don’t and won’t, that makes them ‘woke’.

“Next time, a major character (hero/villain)will be a trans or homosexual or non-binary (when in comics they are not). Sad and pathetic. They’re picking based on race and whats PC and not on acting and what’s established.”

Gunn eviscerated the commenter in a reply, writing: “I chose the best actor, period, and the best person for the role. I don’t give a s*** what ethnicity Chukwudi Iwuji is, so stop with your racist presumptions on WHY he was chosen. (And, by the way, he’s playing a guy who’s almost always purple in the color.)”

Last week, Gunn was involved in a heated exchange on Twitter with a fan who accused him of being “a professional liar”. “For years, it’s been my commitment to the fans that I will never lie to them… and I never have,” was Gunn’s reply.

The director, who helmed the first two Guardians movies, was removed from the project by Disney in 2018 after decade-old tweets – in which Gunn joked about paedophilia and rape – resurfaced online.

Months later, he was rehired for Guardians 3.

Iwuji, 47, is an Associate Artist for the Royal Shakespeare Company and has only recently broken into the film industry after working in theatre for most of his career.

In 2018, he was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award, a Drama League Award, and won an Obie Award – all for his performance in the Public Theater’s The Low Road production in New York.