Star Wars isn’t the only franchise that has the market cornered on firing high profile directors. Disney has announced that James Gunn will not be returning to direct the third chapter of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, after several old and offensive tweets caused some serious controversy for the Mouse House.
“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,” said Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn in a statement.
Social media provisions are pretty routine boiler plate in artists contracts these days, mostly pertaining to making them available for marketing purposes. But there’s also the social aspect of those provisions, and there have been many a celebrity who has gotten into hot water because of a past tweet that has come back to haunt them. Gunn appears to have been bitten by his past, as news broke that the Guardians director had made several poor jokes on Twitter about rape and pedophilia. Considering Disney’s core audience, it comes as no surprise that the Mouse House would move.quickly to disavow themselves of the director. .
The tweets were uncovered by the conservative news site The Daily Wire, and there was talk of many fans confronting Gunn during his appearance this week at San Diego Comic-Con.
Gunn will make his scheduled appearance at the Sony Pictures panel this weekend, but Variety tweeted that the director will bow out. Gunn did, however, tweet about his dark sense of humor, saying:
“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. In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies.”
Recently, Gunn had tweeted he had begun writing Volume 3 of the Guardians saga, but obviously, the direction of where the adventures of Star Lord and company will take, will have remain in doubt until a new director and writer can be lined up. The movie was expected to begin filming in the fall, with a 2020 release date.