After firing James Gunn over the surfacing of some historic, questionable tweets, it seems Disney have given the director a second chance and rehired him to direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
The situation began when a right-wing commentator Mike Cernovich brought to light several controversial tweets that Gunn made ten years ago concerning paedophilia and rape.
Following the publication of the tweets, Disney quickly made the decision to fire Gunn as they found his comments at odds with the multinational conglomerate’s values.
The Walt Disney Studios chairman, Alan Horn said in a statement at the time:
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.
Now, however, Disney and Marvel have made the decision to rehire the writer-director following multiple meetings between Gunn and Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn to discuss the situation, Deadline reports.
Gunn made a public apology regarding the old tweets, and his handling of the situation in general, which has apparently gone some way to Disney changing their minds.
Gunn also had the cast of his franchise on his side, with Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana, among others, all voicing their support.
Taking to Instagram, Chris Pratt wrote:
Although I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man.
I’d personally love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3. If you please, read the following statement- signed by our entire cast.
The ‘jokes’ Gunn made were irresponsible and indefensible, however the director took full responsibility, never lashing out at the studios and apologising whole-heartedly. Disney’s swift action to fire Gunn was understandable, especially after many news outlets reported on the issue.
However, according to reports, Marvel Studios didn’t meet with any other directors for Guardians of the Galaxy 3, despite rumours that Taika Waititi and Adam McKay were in the mix.
Things could get complicated though, as Gunn has reportedly signed on to direct the Warner Bros and DC sequel to (or reboot of) Suicide Squad.
Before he was fired from the project, Gunn had already written the script for the third instalment of the franchise, which Marvel confirmed they would be using.
The first two Guardians of the Galaxy films raked in more than $1.6 billion at the box office worldwide, with the sequel out-performing the first, both of which had Gunn at the helm.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.