In a totally unexpected announcement, Disney Pictures and Marvel Studios have reportedly rehired James Gunn as writer/director of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”.
Deadline broke the news, saying they’ve confirmed it with both Marvel and Gunn’s camp. Gunn’s rehiring comes months after his firing due to offensive years-old joke tweets about pedophilia and rape in July last year.
Said tweets were picked up by alt-right journalists and turned into a public spectacle on social media, but Gunn admitted multiple times to poor judgment displayed at a time and blamed only himself and his attempts to be a provocateur back in his Troma days. He never took a defensive posture (ala Kevin Hart, Roseanne), never lashed out at Disney, and never engaged in the behaviour he lampooned.
The trade says 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.
Gunn is still on track to direct “The Suicide Squad” which kicks off filming this Fall with Marvel Studios agreeing to let him do that first before moving on to the next “Guardians”. Marvel Studios also reportedly never met with or considered any other director for the third “Guardians” despite speculation about Taika Waititi and Adam McKay.
Gunn had written a script for a third “Guardians” which Marvel confirmed will still be used. The entire cast of the film has been outspoken in its desire to have Gunn back, especially co-star Dave Bautista. In the wake of the news, Gunn has taken to Twitter to thank fans for support
“I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months. I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be. I deeply appreciate Disney’s decision and I am excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all. I have been, and continue to be incredibly humbled by your love and support. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Love you all.”
It’s unclear when “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will arrive in cinemas but with “The Suicide Squad” filming not beginning until the Fall, it’s expected a third ‘Guardians’ won’t begin shooting until the back half of 2020 at the earliest. As they have a script ready and Gunn had already begun some pre-production work on it before his firing, filming could begin shortly after he finishes post-production on the ‘Squad’ follow-up.