By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)
He’s back! In a surprising turn, Deadline has just reported that James Gunn has been rehired by Disney to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. While Disney has made no official word, Gunn has confirmed it in a tweet.
You might remember last summer that Gunn was fired from the film due to several old offensive tweets were dug up. The cast of Guardians 3 were unified in asking the house of mouse to rehire him and even Marvel went to bat for him negotiating through back-channels, but they reportedly, couldn’t convince Disney back then to relent. So, what changed?
According to the report, Disney president Alan Horn had several meetings with Gunn and was persuaded that the public apology was genuine. Gunn also never attacked Disney for the decision to fire him and was always quick to blame himself. Meanwhile, Marvel had not pursued any other directors to helm Guardians 3 and stayed pretty mum on the whole thing, which suspiciously, hints that they expected this outcome.
What’s always irked me about this entire situation is that Gunn not only apologized after the story broke, but he apologized for offensive online comments all the way back in 2012 when he was working on the original Guardians of the Galaxy. This makes me think Disney had a knee-jerk reaction and fired him but couldn’t bring themselves to rehire Gunn after they pulled the trigger. If they did rehire him quickly, it could look like Disney didn’t see anything wrong with his statements. My best guess is that Horn had already decided to reinstate Gunn but was just waiting for the whole thing to blow over.
There is a little wrinkle, however. Gunn is in the middle of Suicide Squad 2 so he’ll direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after completing the DCEU film. That means we won’t get Guardians 3 until 2023 at the earliest, by my estimates.
Part of me thinks I should have seen this coming. Marvel’s determination to hold on to Gunn’s screenplay for Guardians 3 and refusal to make any forward motion on the project should have been a tip off. Fans were pressuring the house of mouse to rehire the director and Warner Bros. got almost no flack for hiring him to write and direct The Suicide Squad. In hindsight, Disney bringing James Gunn back for the third Guardians movie feels like an all but inevitable move.