Movies & TV / Columns

Was Disney Right in Rehiring James Gunn?

March 16, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy 2

In Hollywood, you never mess with a cash cow. Sure, one minute you’re turning in the script for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and the next you’re fired because some repugnant tweets from 10 years ago resurface on the internet but give it enough time and you’ll be back in the saddle again.

James Gunn was fired as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 a few months back and it was pretty clear where Disney stood. “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” Disney chairman Alan Horn said in a statement.

Pretty cut and dry. But do I need to remind Mr. Horn that the two Guardians movies have made over $1.6 BILLION dollars worldwide?

Fast forward to a couple days ago and after a series of meetings between Horn and Gunn, things look to have been resolved and the fired director is back at Marvel.

As of writing this, nothing has been officially announced by Gunn or Disney but a “trusted source familiar with the project” told Variety that it was a done deal. Gotta love those “trusted sources” who are so “familiar” with things.

It’s interesting to note that since Gunn was fired, Disney never spoke to any other directors to take over the project. Not even rumors, which is rare for Hollywood. Gunn will return to write the screenplay for the third installment, which is scheduled for a 2020 release but that will change.

This presents a bit of a issue for Gunn because he’s in talks to take over writing DC’s Suicide Squad and direct it as well. The “familiar source” has said that Gunn’s reinstatement will not impact his commitment to Suicide Squad 2 and Deadline has reported that Marvel has agreed to wait to produce Guardians 3 until after Gunn completes Suicide Squad 2.

Granted, Gunn returning isn’t a surprise but we can be sure they’ve done their best to scrub his social media and put him on a short leash going forward. That wasn’t the first Gunn had to apologize for tweets in the past. In 2012, Gunn came forward to say sorry over several blog posts he’d written in 2011 for their explicit language and depiction of women, gays and lesbians.

Soon before getting fired by Disney, Gunn wrote, “Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.”

Gunn is back and things go…sorta back to normal. What do you think about the news of Gunn’s return?