James Gunn, director of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 & 2, has been rehired by Disney and Marvel and restored as Director of the 3rd volume from his original script. The news was first reported in Deadline Hollywood and later confirmed by James Gunn in an Tweet & Instagram post. His first since his firing from Disney back in July.
This move makes sense to me. Gunn had already apologized for his online social media postings, which were made as humorous, but admittedly poor taste, marketing attempts for his indie films, before he became a target of a right-wing extremist driven attempt to get him fired. I’m glad Disney finally came to it senses to not let these malevolent forces rule the day.
Gunn posted a message of thank you to his supporters to Twitter shortly after the news broke.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 15, 2019
Even though Disney and Marvel fired Gunn in July, he continued to work as a writer and producer in Hollywood, including a Sony film called “Brightburn.” He is also tapped to direct the sequel to DC’s “Suicide Squad.” It’s presumed that he’ll turn his attention to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 once his work on that wraps up.
With the events of Avengers: Infinity War leaving the fate of many of our heroes waiting to be sorted out in Avengers: End Game, we’ll have to wait to get a better idea of how many of the original Guardians of the Galaxy will be back in the third film. The return of Gunn to the production will probably make it a lot easier for Disney to convince those cast members who survive “Endgame” to return for the end of the trilogy.
I’m not surprised Disney made this move. Hollywood is all about redemption stories. Gunn’s rocket to the top of the box office was itself a redemption story from the very type of messaging he was then sacked from. To fire him for that never made sense to me.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was originally targeted for a 2020 release date. But it sounds like that will be pushed back now, although there is no official word from Marvel Studios on any timing.