It feels like a lifetime ago that James Gunn was initially fired as the director of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. After some unsavory tweets from a decade ago resurfaced, Disney booted the filmmaker out of the franchise in July 2018, which caused an uproar among both fans and the cast of the superhero series.
The main players in the ensemble issued a statement fully supporting Gunn, with Dave Bautista doubling down and threatening to quit as Drax if his friend and collaborator wasn’t rehired. Eventually he was given his job back in March 2019, but not before he’d been offered any project of his choosing over at Warner Bros., which resulted in the Scooby-Doo and Dawn of the Dead writer signing on to tackle The Suicide Squad.
As a result, production on Vol. 3 won’t begin until later this year thanks to his work on the DCEU’s antihero ensemble and subsequent HBO Max spinoff for John Cena’s Peacemaker, but the cosmic threequel is set to hit the big screen in May 2023. In a new interview, Bautista revealed his thoughts on the whole situation and said that Disney may have jumped the gun and acted too rashly when they decided to give the Guardians of the Galaxy architect his marching orders.
“Disney, I think they jumped the gun, they made a rash decision, they made a mistake. I think, eventually, they really did the right thing which was another huge statement. For Disney to go back and say, ‘Hey guys, we made a mistake, we’re hiring James back’, that in and of itself is a huge statement, so I don’t want to overlook that at all. They really put themselves out on a limb, which they didn’t need to do. Because they could have moved on and just gone on without Gunn and the next Guardians still would have made a butt load of money and people would have come out to see it because they’re so invested in it, but they didn’t. They did the right thing, they said, ‘Hey guys, we made a mistake’. And that in itself is a message.”
At least everyone now appears to have kissed and made up, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 also yielding a Disney Plus Holiday Special, but by the time the movie arrives, six years will have passed since the release of its predecessor, marking the longest gap ever between MCU sequels. Though based on the gang’s continued popularity, their next irreverent intergalactic adventure will likely pick up right from where they left off.