James Gunn Reinstated to Direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.

After a public firing, James Gunn has been reinstated by Disney to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

After firing James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. back in July 2018, Disney has decided to reinstate him as the director in an almost unprecedented move for the studio.

Gunn was fired after a series of vulgar tweets from the late 2000’s resurfaced in an attempt by an Alt-Right hate group to create a fake controversy because James Gunn had been a vocal critic of Donald Trump and his administration. They never had an issue with the context of the tweets, but only weaponized it in an attempt to silence him. Disney fell for the tactic, but after seeing the massive outpouring of support for Gunn on Twitter, with the #rehireJamesGunn still going strong after all these months, as well as the full backing of the Guardians of the Galaxy cast who signed a letter to stand in solidarity with the director, it appears Disney changed their minds.

As first reported in Deadline, this decision had been in the works for a while now after long conversations between Disney and Marvel Studios. Alan Horn, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios, had multiple meetings with Gunn to discuss the situation and the hasty firing. Gunn’s jokes were tasteless and in poor form (common edge lord humor that was popular at the time, still doesn’t make it funny) but it appeared he never partook in any of the acts he joked about and he never lashed out at Disney during the fallout. He took full responsibility. Gunn impressed Horn with his public apology and how he handled the situation and Horn decided to reverse the firing and reinstate Gunn as director.

It appears Disney did not take any meetings with any other directors, which is unusual for what would be a big priority like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. Many are left to wonder if anyone would want to take the job, as many people would want to stand by Gunn and not appear to cross the picket line.

This now does raise the question, what does this mean for The Suicide Squad? Disney probably wishes they could be moving quicker on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. but they will have to wait for Gunn to complete The Suicide Squad for WB. The Suicide Squad is set to begin filming later this year with an August 5, 2021 release date. That means production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. could happen shortly after that, to make either a 2023 or 2024 release date (if it arrives in 2024 it will be ten years after the first Guardians of the Galaxy hit theaters). Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. was originally suspected to be released on May 1, 2020, but Gunn was fired before shortly before production had begun. Yet Disney can hold off on the Guardians, as between 2020 to 2023 they should have sequels to Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Captain Marvel due out, as well as new properties like Shang-Chi and The Eternals.

This news is great overall for everyone involved. It means that alt-right trolls do not get to win, they don’t have any power and these fake attacks aren’t genuine. Those fake attacks only work to discredit real arguments against real people in power who abuse it. It also means that James Gunn will be the first Marvel director to finish his trilogy, and will be able to finish the emotional story arc for these characters he had envisioned all those years ago. Now it takes a burden off the press junket for The Suicide Squad, which now won’t be seen as him getting back at Disney. It also now removes an awkward question hanging over Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. if another director came onboard.

Most importantly though, like many of the Marvel superhero stories, it is a tale of second chances and redemption. Gunn had made a great effort to shed that life behind him, knowing he had a responsibility to his new fans, many of them being kids. Disney realized it was not too late to admit a mistake. They didn’t stubbornly stick to it because they didn’t want to appear weak, they knew when to admit they were wrong and worked to correct it.

Welcome back to the MCU James Gunn. We all look forward to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.