Last July, writer and director of Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2, James Gunn was fired by Disney following the discovery and circulation of his decade-old, so-called comedic Tweets that centred around rape and paedophilia. The tweets were circulated by alt-right journalists calling for Gunn’s dismissal.
In a surprising turn of events, Gunn has now been rehired by Disney/Marvel Studios to direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3. And it seems that Disney has actually been contemplating the decision for months now.
Per Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr:
The decision to rehire James Gunn was one that was mulled and actually made months ago, following conversations with Disney studio leadership and the team at Marvel Studios. Why the change of heart?
After the firing, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn met with Gunn on multiple occasions to discuss the situation. Persuaded by Gunn’s public apology and his handling of the situation after, Horn decided to reverse course and reinstate Gunn.
As far as I’m concerned, this is great news. While there’s simply no defending Gunn’s sickening tweets, we have to remember that those were words and not actions. That’s what separates the GOTG director from the likes of Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein. There hasn’t been a single accusation made against Gunn in regards to sexual assault or paedophilia.
In fact, most if not all the industry folk, both male and female, who have spoken out since the firing have been in strong support of James Gunn. Besides, Gunn tweeted those rape jokes more than a decade ago and has been nothing but apologetic since.
A few hours ago, Gunn broke his months-long Twitter silence (his previous tweet was the apology back in July 2018) to respond to his rehiring.
I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months. I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be.
Check out his full statement:
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 15, 2019
Some of you might be wondering if this decision will affect Gunn’s work over at Warner Bros/DC, where he’s set to helm the sequel/soft reboot of Suicide Squad. The short answer: It won’t. According to Deadline, Marvel Studios has agreed to commence production on Guardians of the Galaxy 3 only after Gunn completes Suicide Squad 2.
Suicide Squad 2 / The Suicide Squad is set to hit the big screens in 2021.