Disney Will Not Rehire James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Reports are that Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn met with James Gunn “as a courtesy,” last week, without Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige in attendance. Now we’ve learned from Variety that Disney’s firing of the Guardians director is final and he will not be returning to the franchise. Feige reportedly is standing by Horn’s decision.

So now the search begins for a new director. Here’s a suggestion, Disney, how about Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi?  I think he’s the only choice to keep the same flavor and humor in the franchise.

By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

The story behind the firing of James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 by Disney seems to get stranger every day. It all started when Gunn was let go of the project for statements he made over a decade ago that were, frankly, awful.

But a lot has changed since then. According to Deadline, there may be hope that he could still yet direct the third Guardians movie. The outlet is reporting that Marvel is having back channel conversations with Disney about reinstating Gunn as director of the film. Their source is quick to point out that there is no fight behind the scenes, just an ongoing conversation about it and a compromise is being discussed. What that compromise could be is anyone’s guess at this point.

Many people had suspected this was going on since Marvel had not yet declared a replacement director for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 despite the fact that the film is set to premiere in 2020. The cracks in the decision had begun to show over the past few weeks. The entire cast supports Gunn, writing a joint statement, and Drax actor Dave Bautista went as far to say that if they don’t use Gunn’s script he would ask Marvel to release him from his contract.

That may not be a problem as Marvel is likely to use the script that he has written. This film is supposed to wrap up the Guardians trilogy so fans are eager to see what Gunn had come up with. So the upside is that it seems like whether he is directing or not, his story will still be told.

There are other pieces to this story which are possibly at play. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the filmmaker’s exit is complicated due to the fact that he didn’t break his contract as the comments he made were from more than 10 years ago. The report says that Gunn could expect a $7 million to $10 million dollar payout. Meanwhile, other studios are also courting the director including Marvel Studios rival Warner Bros. who seem to be poaching some of the creatives from Marvel for their Worlds of DC films.

Finally, it really does need to be noted that James Gunn had already apologized for the comments he made all the way back in 2012 just a few months after being hired to direct the first Guardians of the Galaxy. Obviously, the climate is very different now than it was six years ago so somethings are no longer tolerated but Gunn has not made any similar comments in the past half-decade which indicates that his apology was sincere.

At the end of the day, I can’t help but think that Disney jumped the gun (pun not intended) by firing the director as quickly as they did.  If Marvel really wants Gunn back, they’re going to have to navigate a way to bring him back without Disney losing face. Tricky, but not out of the realm of possibility.

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