Disney Will Not Rehire James Gunn

The James Gunn roller coaster continues, and now the same site who reported just the other day that Disney was considering rehiring the director, it now looks like he’s not coming back.

Variety, who started the rumor the other day, is now saying he will not return to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3:

Despite a cast letter asking for James Gunn to be reinstated as the director of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” Walt Disney Studios is currently not planning on rehiring the filmmaker who it recently fired after a series of offensive tweets surfaced, according to multiple people familiar with the studio’s current thinking. The feeling within both Disney and Marvel is that the dozens of so-called jokes that Gunn made about pedophilia and rape are unacceptable in the #MeToo era and are not in line with Disney’s family-friendly image.

The studio recognized that “Guardians” cast members such as Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana stopped short of threatening to quit the series, but there is widespread belief that the actors will show up for future installments, regardless of their personal feelings about Gunn. For one thing, most are under contract and would face legal action if they opted out of a sequel. Still, the public endorsement of the director was notable for its vociferous support.

And the start date for Guardians 3 could be pushed back:

As for replacing Gunn, Disney feels no pressure to immediately find a new director, according to sources, and is willing to wait until the right A-list filmmaker comes along. For one, the studio never gave the film an official release date, even though it was widely expected to hit theaters within the next two years. Depending on how long it takes to land the right director, Disney may in fact wind up pushing back the film’s original February 2019 start date.

It’s not the result many people online were hoping for, but I understand why they won’t rehire him. It’s a shame as Gunn would’ve been the first MCU director to complete a trilogy of movies within the same franchise.