In a huge reversal, Disney is welcoming James Gunn back to the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. He has been rehired to direct the third movie after he was fired in July last year.
The move was apparently decided on months ago. Disney Studios president Alan Horn was persuaded by Gunn’s public apology and his handling of the situation and decided to reverse course to reinstate him, according to Deadline. Mashable has confirmed the report.
Gunn also confirmed the news on Twitter with an emotional statement.
He was ousted when some of his old tweets related to pedophilia jokes were rediscovered by conservative personalities. The director tweeted in response and owned up to his mistakes.
After Gunn’s dismissal, the entire cast voiced their support for him in an open letter, including Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Zoe Saldana, with Bautista threatening to leave the film altogether. Marvel never really made moves to hire another director as replacement and confirmed they would use Gunn’s script, which he had already written prior to being fired.
Gunn has already signed on to direct the Suicide Squad sequel for DC and Warner Bros, so Marvel won’t start production on GOTG 3 until he wraps that up. The horror film he produced, Brightburn, releases on May 24.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 apparently serves as an epic conclusion to the story that began with the first part in 2014. We don’t know yet how that will pan out, seeing as half the team turned to ash in Avengers: Infinity War, but Gunn’s rehiring is sure to increase the hype even more.
UPDATE: March 15, 2019, 3:19 p.m. EDT
The cast weighs in: