The firing of James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was one of Disney’s most controversial decisions of 2018, but while the news was met with heavy backlash from the fans, most of the filmmaker’s defenders had by now given up hope that the Mouse House would ever change their mind. In a surprising turn of events, however, Deadline now reports that Gunn has been reinstated as director of the third installment in the space saga he helped bring to the big screen.
According to the outlet, the decision to rehire Gunn was actually made months ago, following conversations between Disney bosses and the team at Marvel Studios. It’s also said that Walt Disney Studios president Alan Horn met with the filmmaker on multiple occasions to discuss the situation, and that he was persuaded by Gunn’s public apology and his handling of the situation. The news has apparently been confirmed with Marvel and Gunn’s camp, too.
The decision to fire Gunn for incendiary tweets was met with widespread criticism, not least from the franchise’s own cast members. Dave Bautista in particular has been continuously outspoken in his disapproval, arguing that the measure only served to empower the alt-right journalists who dredged up Gunn’s old tweets. Though Bautista has previously mentioned that he’s not sure if he wants to keep working for Disney, you have to imagine that this latest news will put the company back in his good graces.
All the same, Gunn’s firing has likely served as a major setback for the project, with Deadline adding that production won’t commence until the director has finished work on The Suicide Squad. Seeing how that particular comic book outing isn’t due for release until August 6th, 2021, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 may still be a few years away from reaching theaters.