Well well well, look who finally came around to their senses? Going off of a report from Deadline that was confirmed by someone in the Marvel camp, James Gunn is returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3. Gunn was taken off of the project last year after Disney bowed to public outcry orchestrated by a group with political objectives that took offense to Gunn’s stance against President Donald Trump. The outcry was based around a group of decade-old tweets that made light of rape and pedophilia that Gunn made out of an attempt at shock humor.
After Gunn was fired, Marvel met with the director multiple times to discuss the situation and was quoted as saying that he would not be returning even after the talks. Despite Gunn not being allowed to direct, the film still planned to use the script that Gunn had written beforehand. The cast initially said they would stand with the director, then eventually backed off of that stance with only David Bautista firmly holding his ground that without Gunn he would not return. the entire thing was a mess and to be honest I had to read through our previous articles on it to remember exactly what went down.
So why the turnaround? It is apparently the meetings that Marvel and Disney had with Gunn and his handling of the entire situation. From the moment the tweets resurfaced Gunn took an apologetic stance and was clear that he had grown in the decade since he tweeted the offensive jokes. Contrasted with the way other celebrities have handled their tweets being brought into the mainstream and the execs felt that Gunn’s reinstatement was in order. Never mind the fact that Gunn was almost immediately snapped up by DC to helm the sequel to their Academy Award Winning movie Suicide Squad.
On Suicide Squad, it is reported that Marvel will be waiting for work on Suicide Squad 2 to complete before Gunn will move forward with Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3. So, for now, there is still no release window for Guardians 3 and probably won’t be for a while. As of the lastest report, production was set to begin in February 2021 but that was when no director was even rumored to be attached so who knows when production will begin. It’s never a good thing when one of your prized franchises is at the mercy of a competitor but we’ll see how that relationship shapes up down the road.
Ultimately this is a great story, as Gunn’s dismissal always left a bad taste in my mouth. Yes, the tweets were in bad taste but to think that he hadn’t evolved and became a better person over ten years set a very scary precedent for how we would handle social media in the future. Also, the seeping of political agendas into the mainstream media and orchestrated outrage is something that should only be seen in Black Mirror, but I think we crossed that line long ago. Oh well, make sure you think before you send that tweet folks.
Disney Reinstates James Gunn [Deadline]