2:51 pm EDT, March 15, 2019

Disney rehires James Gunn to direct ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’

After a few months of exile, James Gunn will return to the Marvel Cinematic Unverse for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Deadline reports that Gunn’s rehiring was actually decided upon several months ago, though officially the film remained without a director.

Gunn, who wrote and directed the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films to great accolades, was fired from the third film in July. His firing came amidst a storm of social media controversy, following the reemergence of several cruel and provocative jokes Gunn had posted on Twitter years ago.

The tweets were exposed by media operatives affiliated with right-wing media websites, motivated partly by earlier controversy of Rosanne Barr’s banishment from ABC after making racist statements on Twitter.

(Twitter: What could possibly go wrong?)

“Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo,” Gunn wrote at the time. “It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger.”

“My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor. In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies.”

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According to Deadline, Disney Studios president Alan Horn took the apology to heart after meeting with Gunn, and the director was soon re-hired. This presumably proved a balm to Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 cast, many of whom — Dave Bautista in particular — vehemently protested the firing.

Complicating matters slightly is James Gunn’s new affiliation with Marvel’s ‘distinguished competition’ — he is reported to be committed to writing and directing the second Suicide Squad film for DC. Reports indicate that Gunn will complete his requirements on that film, due for release in 2021, and then return to the brighter tones of Marvel to complete Guardians of the Galaxy.

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