Despite the best efforts of his friends and the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy, it seems Disney will not rehire James Gunn.
Since James Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 over old, highly offensive tweets, fans, friends, and colleagues of the director started petitions, wrote open letters to Disney, and made their feelings over Gunn’s firing clear on social media. However, it seems that Disney will not reverse their decision to remove Gunn from Guardians 3.
Gunn was given a meeting with studio chairman Alan Horn after Gunn’s team made a hard push for Disney to give the director a second chance. According to Variety, while Horn did take a meeting with Gunn, it was more of a courtesy to clear the air with him rather than a meeting to discuss terms of a possible return. Variety also reports that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was out of town and unable to attend the meeting, though he stands by Disney’s decision.
Gunn was initially fired from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 when old tweets with so-called jokes about rape and pedophilia were unearthed. Though most everyone agreed that the tweets were incredibly awful, fans and friends came to Gunn’s defense because he had not only addressed and apologized for the tweets years earlier, but the individual who unsurfaced those tweets is a right-wing conspiracy theorist who publicized the tweets specifically to target Gunn (though the individual has his own history of rape tweets that weren’t meant as jokes).
Still, Disney is a family-friendly brand, and though Gunn’s firing may be frustrating to some, it’s not unfathomable to understand why a brand built on family-friendly entertainment chose to distance themselves from a man with such a controversial past.
James Gunn may be done with the MCU for good, but Disney has promised they plan to use Gunn’s script for Guardians 3. However, filming was set to begin in early 2019, and Disney has not yet commented if that production date will be pushed back as they search for a new director.