James Gunn is back in the director’s chair for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” reports Deadline.
Gunn was fired from “Guardians 3” in July 2018 after old, offensive tweets written by the director resurfaced. Disney quickly responded: “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,” said Alan Horn, Walt Disney Studios chairman.
Despite an outpouring of support for Gunn from the “Guardians” cast and many fans, Disney seemed adamant that he would not be hired back. But apparently, according to Deadline, Disney had a change of heart several months ago. “After the firing, Walt Disney Studios president Alan Horn met with Gunn on multiple occasions to discuss the situation. Persuaded by Gunn’s public apology and his handling of the situation after, Horn decided to reverse course and reinstate Gunn,” says Deadline.
Gunn responded to the news of his reinstatement on Twitter:
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 15, 2019
At the time of his firing, Gunn issued this apology:
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. Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering 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.
Prior to being fired, Gunn had already turned in the script for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which Disney still planned to use. In February 2019, “Guardians” star Chris Pratt was asked about the script by MTV News. “It’s off the chain. It’s so good,” he said.
After being removed from “Guardians 3,” James Gunn signed on to write and direct “Suicide Squad 2” for Warner Bros. and DC. Marvel Studios has agreed to hold off on the production of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” until after Gunn completes his work on “Suicide Squad 2.”
According to Deadline, Marvel Studios did not meet with or consider any other director for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” although Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok”) and Adam McKay (“Vice”) were rumored to be in consideration.