During the week of Comic-Con, many of James Gunn’s old tweets resurfaced. Many of them very offensive “jokes” about rape, pedophilia, the Holocaust, 9/11, and a range of other things that were subjects that shouldn’t be joked about. Gunn deleted many of his tweets following the incident but was ultimately fired by Disney as director of Guardians of the Galaxy. While he has seen support from fans and cast members of Guardians of the Galaxy, it seems very unlikely that he will be returning to work on the third film in the franchise.
Here’s a statement signed by the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy in support of James Gunn:
Gunn’s firing came from approval by Alan Horn, Disney Studios Chief. Disney CEO Bob Iger gave the final nail in the coffin. The fact that Disney’s two highest officials are the guys who made the call, helps understand the rehire situation better. According to Variety, a source close to the matter stated:
“I don’t see Disney re-hiring him. Those tweets were so horrible and Disney has a different standard than other studios.”
Disney does not seem to be in a rush to replace Gunn. They are willing to wait for an A-list director to come along, so they can offer the job. Many people want to see Jon Favreau (Iron Man/Jungle Book), Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), or The Russo Bros. (Avengers: Infinity War) take over the job. Seemingly, all of these guys have prior obligations that they must meet, and it may be better for Disney to hire another director outside of their pool of Marvel directors for this installment. Also, many people have lobbied for Jordan Peele (Get Out) to take over as director for Guardians of the Galaxy 3, but no word has been said on the matter either way.
Every director has a different style, and if this is indeed true and Marvel isn’t going to rehire Gunn… He will be very hard to replace. There’s a thing about directors and their style. Gunn’s style fits this film perfectly. These heroes were not well-known to the public before their debut in 2014. These were C-list heroes that were mad A-list because of an amazing cast and director that worked endlessly to fit them into the MCU. Gunn added the 70s music and the loving family tone that the films give off. He also was pegged to take over the cosmic side of the MCU, so yes, he will be very hard to replace.
In this climate, little to none of the jokes expressed by Gunn will be tolerated. Roseanne Barr was recently fired by Disney for her remarks regarding Obama Aide Valerie Jarrett and Paramount just laid off their TV Chief Amy Powell for racist remarks in the workplace. Also, we know of the things going on with Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. Bill Cosby has been to trial and found guilty for drugging and raping women during his tenure on television. While Gunn’s comments weren’t racist and he didn’t tape anybody… They were very wildly inappropriate and not smart on his part as a man working for Disney. Ultimately, he may get hired by another big studio to take over a franchise. Unfortunately for his fans and fellow coworkers for Guardians of the Galaxy, we most likely will not see him in the director’s chair for Vol. 3.