James Gunn is a director in demand, oddly enough.
Amid the fallout, the core Guardians cast released a joint letter in defense of Gunn, with Dave Bautista even going so far as to say that he’ll walk away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe if Marvel selects another script over James Gunn’s. But Drax fans needn’t sweat, as sources close to The Hollywood Reporter indicate that Marvel Studios plans to honor Gunn’s screenplay for the third (and final?) Guardians movie.
Not only that, but it’s also being reported that Warner Bros. and other major Hollywood studios have approached James Gunn about potential projects, with one anonymous studio executive admitting that he’d “work with him in a heartbeat.”
Warner Bros. and Lionsgate are the only two studios mentioned in THR’s report – the former is surely monitoring the situation in the hope of courting James Gunn to the DCEU – though sources did reference a “cooling off period” of several months before any studio makes a formal approach for the ousted filmmaker.
Before all that comes the settlement between James Gunn and Disney, though. As THR points out, the director may receive a payout of $7M-$10M, as the offensive tweets were posted years before he officially signed with Marvel Studios. Moreover, he’d be free to develop another project immediately, which goes some way to explaining the sudden interest from Warner Bros. and other major Hollywood studios as they zero in on the former Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director.
One thing’s clear: not every studio maintains the same no-tolerance policy as Disney, with another studio exec telling THR:
Most people feel his comments were coming out of his brand of comedy [at the time he made them]. Having an inappropriate sense of humor shouldn’t be a crime.
More on this story as it develops.