Huh. I can honestly say I didn’t see this coming.
Deadline is reporting that James Gunn has been re-hired and is once again the writer-director of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 3. This is a huge turn-around for Marvel and Disney after the public, uncomfortable debacle that was Gunn’s firing. Even after the hubbub and many petitions and protests from fans, Disney stuck to their guns and insisted that Gunn wasn’t coming back. Well, I guess they had a change of heart just like Star-Lord, Rocket and the rest of the Guardians. Talk about a character arc!
As we all know, Gunn was fire after some old, offensive tweets were found by alt-right commentators. The tweets were obvious jokes, as distasteful and gross as they were, and Gunn took full responsibility for making them. However the damage was done quickly as Disney decided to let him go. The whole thing was a mess. We live in an age where people have to face consequences for their actions (thank God) but Gunn’s ouster was a bit tricky because of the ulterior motives of those calling him out. People from the alt-right suddenly offended by jokes and accusing Gunn of being a pedophile and rapist? It felt insincere (especially after Gunn’s constant critiques of our president) and the reaction from Disney seemed excessive to many. Even the stars of Guardians joined forces to release a statement supporting Gunn and pleading for his reinstatement. It seems that Disney listened. Good thing too cause that Dave Bautista guy looks tough.
As we have reported, Gunn is already attached to write and direct The Suicide Squad for WB and DC. How will he play both sides of the comic book fence? Marvel has agreed to start production on Guardians 3 after Gunn wraps The Suicide Squad. So now Gunn will be leading two major comic book movie franchises. Well played, James. You have successfully bridged the DC-Marvel divide. You join the ranks of Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck as someone who has worked for both comic behemoths.
Fans of Guardians should be very happy (and surprised) by this news. Gunn really was the driving force behind the series. His humor and vision were all over Guardians 1 & 2. Losing him was a huge blow for the third film and it was no surprise that interest in the picture completely vanished when Gunn was fired. The movie was indefinitely postponed and many assumed it would just never happen. There was no real talk of a replacement for Gunn and no talk of when the film would start production. Now we can see that was probably because Disney was still weighing its options regarding Gunn. I’m happy to see they've come around.
In closing: screw the alt-right.