I guess Disney remembered that forgiveness is something we should all have in our hearts. Because months after fan petitions, and asking for James Gunn to be rehired as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3, it’s finally happened. No joke, no lie.
Deadline has confirmed with both Disney and the camp of James Gunn that the fan-favorite director is being brought back to finish the trilogy he started. To recap, last year, Gunn came under attack by alt-right journalists, who combed through years of Twitter messages until they found some very derogatory messages that he made when he was a “shock director” just starting out on his director career. While the remarks were rather horrible, the problem that most fans saw was that not only was this a concentrated attack on Gunn, but that these were made YEARS before he was hired to direct Guardians of the Galaxy. What’s more, that meant that Disney didn’t look at his social media history themselves to see what he had said in his past.
The firing of Gunn after the remarks felt like a knee-jerk reaction to most, including the cast and crew of Guardians of the Galaxy. Who wrote an open letter (signed by all of them) stating that they can’t do the third movie without James Gunn. Dave Bautista (who plays Drax) has been extremely vocal in his support of his friend James Gunn, condemning Disney for their actions.
Fans made numerous petitions to try and save Gunn, even crowdfunding a billboard in California to show Disney that they wanted him back!
According to Deadline, it was Walt Disney President Alan Horn who made the final decision to reinstate Gunn, as he met with him multiple times over the past few months, and really admired Gunn’s apology over the years-old tweets, and how he handled the situation when it came out (#WithClassAndDignity). So, he decided to rehire him.
Which is good not just for James Gunn, but for Marvel, Disney, and fans everywhere. The first two Guardians of the Galaxy films were major hits for the company, with the second one having a major box office debut at over $170 million. But, after the firing of Gunn, GOTG Vol.3 was put on hold indefinitely.
One thing to note though, Gunn is currently contracted to make Suicide Squad 2, which is rumored to start filming this September. So work on GOTG Vol.3 won’t begin until that one is done, most likely. But, that’s not confirmed as of yet.