Just over a week ago, James Gunn was fired by Disney and removed from directorial duties on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The firing came after a series of old tweets, featuring offensive, stupid, and unfunny jokes was brought to light by an online campaign. Disney, perhaps looking to appear evenhanded after the firing of Roseanne Barr for a more recent racist tweet, wasted no time in parting ways with Gunn, the steward of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, and perhaps the director who has been given the most creative freedom in the entire Marvel Studios stable. Gunn, who had already apologized for similar tweets several years ago, promptly deleted his social media accounts and issued an apology.
Fans, of course, took the news poorly, and a Change.org petition demanding Disney rehire Gunn has racked up 300,000 signatures and counting. On the other hand, Guardians star Dave Bautista immediately expressed his own unhappiness with Gunn’s firing, and promised that Disney hadn’t heard the last of him.
Well, he was right. Bautista and the entire cast of Guardians of the Galaxy, have signed an open letter of support for James Gunn.
The letter expresses sympathy and raises concerns about “character assassinations” and “weaponizing mob mentality” but stops short of explicitly demanding Disney reinstate Gunn as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Still, the message is pretty clear, and this is the closest we’ve seen to open dissension in the Disney/Marvel ranks in years.
Meanwhile, Gunn had done considerable work on the script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and the plan was to begin filming in early 2019. It seems unlikely that Disney would reverse course and put Gunn back in the director’s chair, but it will be interesting to see what kind of writing credit he receives on the finished product.
There is currently no release date for Guardians of the Galaxy 3, but the full schedule of upcoming Marvel movies can be found here.
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