Well, this is certainly a surprise.
Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2 director James Gunn, who was fired by Disney for inappropriate tweets (some dating as far back as a decade), has been rehired by the studio. Gunn is officially back on board as director and writer of Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
As per Deadline, the decision to rehire Gunn was made a few months ago after various meetings between Gunn and Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, as well as Disney and the team at Marvel Studios. Word is that the studio appreciated Gunn’s public apologies and overall conduct during the situation.
Following his firing, Warner Bros. moved in and hired Gunn to direct and write the Suicide Squad sequel. That is still going ahead. Disney had decided to hold off on Guardians 3 until Gunn is finished on Suicide Squad 2, putting him in a rare position to direct a film in both the current Marvel and DC universes. Joss Whedon also worked in both arenas, having directed Marvel’s first two Avengers movies and finished production on Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
“I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months,” Gunn posted on Twitter (the first tweet since his apology back in July 2018). “I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be.”
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 15, 2019
The Guardians cast will no doubt be very happy with the news. Not long after Gunn’s firing, a number of cast members – including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper and Dave Bautista – released a joint statement announcing their support of the director.
“There is little due process in the court of public opinion. James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial,” read the statement. “Given the growing political divide in this country, it’s safe to say instances like this will continue, although we hope Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassinations and stop weaponizing mob mentality.”
Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is scheduled to open in US cinemas on August 6, 2021. The Gunn-produced horror-superhero film Brightburn arrives in Australia on May 23 and hits the US on May 24.