Some welcome good news comes to us today via online outlet Deadline. The site is reporting that not only has Disney decided to rehire James Gunn after his controversial firing last July, but the decision was actually made months ago. Challenges needed to be squared away however, as Gunn had already signed on to write and direct The Suicide Squad for DC and Warner Bros. Now it looks like that film will come first for the director and then he’s expected to tackle Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 not long after.
Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in July 2018 after some inappropriate and offensive tweets came back to haunt the director that were discovered by alt-right bloggers. The Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, Alan Horn, at that time decided to part ways with Gunn due to the content of the controversial tweets. This led to some harsh backlash online from Marvel’s very loyal fan base. Right now, it’s not clear what led to Horn changing his mind. But it is being reported that Gunn’s public apology, as well as his general handling of the situation, is what resulted in Horn meeting with him in the recent past couple of months to reinstate him on the trilogy-capper.
Fan speculation was that Marvel Studios was looking at Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi to direct the movie, but Marvel Studios has maintained they never actually met with any directors or even considered any others, after the firing of James Gunn. Production on the film was originally going to begin on Vol. 3 in January 2019 for a summer 2020 release. But now with The Suicide Squad moving ahead first for Gunn before Vol. 3, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see any progress make way on the third and final installment of the Guardians trilogy until at least next year, as The Suicide Squad is is going to begin commencing filming this fall.
The Guardians of the Galaxy films have been very successful for Marvel, lifting its unique cinematic universe into the cosmos. The first Guardians movie in 2014 made more than $773 million worldwide while 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 earned $863 million. The Intergalactic Team were also a large part of last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, which Gunn worked on as an executive producer, and Karen Gillan’s Nebula character is a key part of Avengers: Endgame, which Gunn also is executive producing.
Although Gunn has remained silent on Twitter since his firing in July, after the news broke, he tweeted this statement:
“I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months,” Gunn wrote on Twitter Friday. “I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be. I deeply appreciate Disney’s decision and I am excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all. I have been, and continue to be incredibly humbled by your love and support. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Love yo you all.”
Gunn had previously issued a statement apologizing for his previous tweets when Gunn was fired last Summer:
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” his July 2018 statement read. “I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.”
As of now, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 does not have a release date, but it is safe to speculate the film may hit theaters by Summer 2020.