Walt Disney Pictures isn’t going to be re-hiring James Gunn for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” according to a new report at Variety.
Gunn was let go a few weeks back after a bunch of poor taste joke tweets about rape and paedophilia, up to nearly a decade old, surfaced on a conservative blogging site. Despite Gunn having acknowledged and apologised for the tweets years before, Disney fired him right away.
Since then many have come out in support of Gunn, including a petition to re-hire the director that has received hundreds of thousands of online signatures. The entire cast of the film also signed an open letter of support for Gunn, but due to existing contracts they are required to return regardless of who helms.
The new report though claims Disney wasn’t aware of his history of lewd and offensive jokes, despite Gunn having never shied from discussing them openly. Nevertheless, such jokes are not seen as acceptable in the #MeToo era, especially at somewhere such as Disney which cultivates a family-friendly image and holds a much stricter standard than other studios.
On top of this, both Disney Studios chief Alan Horn and company CEO Bob Iger were said to have personally weighed in and agreed on the final decision to fire Gunn. The studio also feels no pressure to immediately find a new director and is willing to wait until the right A-list filmmaker comes along as the film has no official release date.
This means the planned February 2019 start of production date could well be pushed back. The report also indicates the studio is going to look outside the Marvel family for a new director as the likes of Taika Waititi and Jon Favreau have other commitments.