Despite a strong push from fans, audiences and the franchise’s cast to reinstate the director, Disney and Marvel are standing by their decision not to bring back James Gunn to helm Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The decision came after a meeting between Gunn and studio chairman Alan Horn. (h/t Variety)
The Guardians cast itself spearheaded the effort to bring Gunn back, with series stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista even penning an open letter to the studio imploring them to forgive Gunn. The director was fired from the project when alt-right agitators dug up several of his old tweets that appeared to make jokes about pedophilia and rape. Obviously, the humor is indefensible, but those in favor of Gunn point out the jokes were made almost 10 years ago. Disney’s aggressive move to fire Gunn was informed by the #MeToo movement and the company’s own family-friendly image.
According to Variety, this meeting between Gunn and Horn wasn’t a second-chance effort, but rather set up as an opportunity to clear the air. Sources described the meeting as civil and professional, though Horn was firm in his decision.
Guardians 3 now begins the search for a new director. Production is supposed to begin at the start of next year, though it’s unclear at this time if that schedule will be affected by this decision.