Time to rejoice, internet, because after months of public apologies, online petitions from fans, and open letters from the entire Guardians of the Galaxy cast, Disney has sheepishly decided to rehire James Gunn to direct GOTG 3.
Presumably the news only broke now since all the hooplah after Gunn’s firing has finally died down to manageable levels.
Just a reminder how we got here in the first place, Gunn was fired after some alt-right troll dug up some of the director’s old tweets in which he made a bunch of pedophilia and rape jokes. The resulting furor from that caused Disney to fire Gunn from GOTG 3 in a knee-jerk reaction.
As for why Disney decided to change its mind, apparently the studio’s chairman Alan Horn met with Gunn after the whole tweet saga and was persuaded by the director’s sincere apology and handling of the aftermath of his firing (i.e not criticising Disney for its decision, unlike, say, Kevin Hart and the whole Oscars debacle).
Furthermore, it was reported that Disney never met with or considered any other director for GOTG 3, which suggests that rehiring Gunn was always on the cards.
Following the news of his rehiring, Gunn has tweeted out a heartfelt message of thanks to all his fans who supported him the whole time.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 15, 2019
Gunn’s rehiring did initially hit a hurdle because he officially signed on to direct and write the Suicide Squad sequel a couple of months ago, which would’ve made for some awkward conversations at Marvel given how DC is its big rival in the superhero landscape.
But to the relief of DC and Marvel fans everywhere, a deal was worked out in which Gunn is free to work his magic on the Suicide Squad sequel first before resuming work on GOTG 3. Details on the GOTG film remain scarce and it is likely that it won’t be released until after 2020 at the earliest, though we do know that Gunn had written the script for it before being fired.
This is absolutely the right move from Disney because the GOTG films are so uniquely “James Gunn” that no director could really hope to emulate that magic. There will undoubtedly be some who will gripe about Gunn’s unfiring, but rather than say something dumb, I’ll let Star Lord respond to any and all detractors.