The screenwriter-director behind Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, James Gunn, will officially return to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after being fired by Disney-Marvel in July 2018 for comments made via Twitter between 2009 and 2011.
As well as Guardians of the Galaxy, Gunn has directed Slither and Super. Image: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP.
Fired as the result of a public outcry against tweets the filmmaker claimed were poorly written jokes, the public perception of the case was quickly altered by the Guardians cast when they openly and publicly opposed his firing soon after the news broke, with Drax the Destroyer actor Dave Bautista being particularly vocal about his disdain for the decision, even going so far as to claim he wouldn’t return without the director at the helm.
Gunn, who developed the Guardians project from the very beginning and gave many of its cast their opportunity to become star names, had made multiple comments via Twitter eluding to child abuse and child sexual abuse, with further investigation unearthing some distasteful pictures of the filmmaker attending a paedophile-themed party.
Disney’s firing of the director was met with a divisive reaction that saw many influential industry professionals join the Guardians of the Galaxy cast in supporting the filmmaker and the growing perception that his comments were a shameful attempt at being edgy. In the months following his removal from the project altogether, many have questioned Disney-Marvel’s decision to hire Gunn in the first place given how the tweets pre-date his hiring at the company, with the motives of those behind boosting the tweets into the public sphere also being questioned given their opposition to Gunn’s publicly left wing political leanings.
Over the course of the 8 months or so since his firing, Disney have moved to weaken their hard stance against Gunn, the company confirming before Christmas that the 3rd movie was to use his script. Gunn himself has hardly been quiet either, following several public apologies with a number of new projects including the forthcoming dark-superhero-horror Brightburn (on which he acts as a producer) and a role at Marvel’s rival comic book movie producers DC as the screenwriter, producer and (potentially) director of Suicide Squad 2.
This extraordinary turn of events, which will undoubtedly see Disney-Marvel be met with a backlash for operating in opposition to its usually adamantly family friendly business mantra, will put Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 back on track after production was reportedly halted in the aftermath of the director’s firing. The film was originally intended for a summer 2020 release.
In response to the news breaking, Gunn tweeted the following:
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 15, 2019
Gunn will now operate from a position of power and influence at two of Hollywood’s biggest studios, Disney and Warner Bros., with the filmmaker now being central to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and DC’s Suicide Squad 2 as the lead creative force, while continuing to act as an executive producer on each Avengers movie that features characters he’s helped to develop on the big screen, including the upcoming Avengers: Endgame.