James Gunn


The biggest Marvel news this weekend didn’t even come from Comic-Con International: San Diego.

Disney fired James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after right-wing activists resurfaced old tweets that joked on topics such as pedophilia and rape. Gunn wrote, directed, and chose the soundtrack for the first two films in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and was supposed to continue with the third installment.

“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” said Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, to a statement to BuzzFeed News.


Gunn also issued the following statement to BuzzFeed News 

“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.”

“Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.”

The news have many fans wondering how the franchise will continue without the writer and director, and Disney has not yet commented on how the franchise will move forward. Gunn’s departure will no doubt have an impact on the movie overall, often being very vocal about the project and constantly interacting with fans on social media. Thousands already signed a Change.org campaign to Marvel and Disney, petitioning to re-hire the filmmaker. At the time of publication on Monday morning, the petition had 166,635 signatures, less than 34,000 of its goal.

Stars from the franchise have also spoken out since the news broke out this weekend in support of Gunn, including the director’s brother, who had a role in the first two films. Michael Rooker also announced that he is leaving Twitter, saying “Twitter sucks and I want nothing to do with it.”


h/t Buzzfeed

About the author

Maddie Michalik

Maddie Michalik

Maddie Michalik is the senior editor at the Pop Insider, best known as the resident Insta Queen, where she fuels her geeky heart with the latest entertainment and pop culture news. She travels to different stations in the U.S. and Canada to show all her fav products on TV! Maddie is also an editor at the Toy Insider, the leading consumer holiday gift guide and toy review and news website, and serves as the editor-in-chief of leading trade magazine The Toy Book and weekly e-newsletter Toy Report, keeping the toy industry up to date with the latest happenings. Her love for consuming media is surpassed only by her love creating it (especially when she gets to talk about her favorite things). She is a Leslie Knope in training, and you can often find her rereading the Harry Potter series with a cup of coffee in her hand and patiently waiting for the next season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. See more of Maddie on Twitter and Instagram @MaddieMichalik.