James Gunn is back!
The writer/director, who was fired last July by Disney after decades-old inappropriate and controversial tweets were back into the light, has been rehired by Disney to helm Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
The decision to bring Gunn back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes after months of Disney searching for a replacement, though Deadline reports that Disney had been in talks with him for months following the incident.
After the firing, Walt Disney Studios chairman 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.
While Gunn’s tweets were reprehensible, his firing was controversial due to the fact that they were jokes made decades ago at a time when he was more of a provocateur look for comedic shock value. Gunn was apologetic when the tweets resurfaced, issuing the following statement:
My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.
In an effort to put out the fires, Disney parted ways with Gunn, a move that many fans and even the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t agree with. Stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper and Dave Bautista signed an open letter asking for the filmmaker to be rehired. Bautista, in particular, was the most outspoken regarding Gunn.
In his time away from Marvel, Gunn was courted by Warner Bros. and DC to write and direct The Suicide Squad, which he remains committed to. Gunn plans on doing both films, with The Suicide Squad coming first (a release date of August 6, 2021).