For the past month Disney and Marvel Studios were faced with mounting public pressure surrounding reinstating Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn after he was terminated from directing the upcoming third installment. The studio has officially made their decision to stand firm on keeping the Marvel director off of the project after executives held a formal meeting with Gunn and studio chairman Alan Horn, Variety reports.
Gunn was fired over a month ago after it had been discovered that the director made numerous lewd tweets about rape and pedophilia over a decade ago. Disney reportedly had knowledge of these tweets when he was initially hired to direct the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, but insisted on keeping him employed until these tweets were returned to the forefront by conservative leader, Michael Cernovich. The studio fired him soon after, citing the #MeToo movement and that this conduct was in violation of Disney’s family friendly policies as justification.
Since his firing the widespread support for Gunn and criticism of Disney has grown. Cast members such as Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista have taken to Twitter to passionately defend their friend and colleague. Bautista has been the most vocal critic of the decision to fire Gunn, going so far as to state that it has been nauseating to work with Disney now and ridicule those who have been supportive of the decision.
Man you guys are really reaching. So desperate! Anyway I just wanted to tell you to go fuck yourself before I block you. So go fuck yourself.
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) August 12, 2018
The Guardians of the Galaxy cast published an open letter to the studio in the hopes that it would lead to Gunn being reinstated.
Gunn and his representatives were heavily in talks with studio chairman Alan Horn in the hopes that the studio executive would consider letting him return for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. These talks fell through after a courtesy meeting between Horn, Gunn, and his representatives on Tuesday, which was meant to clear the air about the situation. Insiders with knowledge of the meeting have stated that it was civil and professional, but that Horn was maintaining his hardline stance against reinstating the director.
Insiders have also stated that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was not present at the meeting, despite it being rumored that he was pushing to keep Gunn onboard with the franchise. This could mean that Feige does stand by the studio’s decision, even if it is one he is opposed to. Disney and Marvel Studios declined to comment for details.
While Feige was not present at this meeting it is expected that Disney and Marvel Studios will continue production on the third Guardians of the Galaxy film once a new director is selected. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 expected to start production in early 2019 there is now uncertainty as to if the film will be able to meet this deadline after a change in directors as the new director would need to polish up whatever script was submitted by Gunn before he was terminated.
What do you think of this news? Should James Gunn have been fired? Let us know in the comments below!