James Gunn, writer and director of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films, will most likely not be rehired for the third installment of the franchise. Instead, it’s possible Walt Disney Studios will look beyond the Marvel family for a new director.
Although Disney has not yet met with any replacements, rumors are going around that Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), or the Russo brothers (Avengers: Infinity War) could fill in the spot, according to a report from Variety. However, they probably already have prior obligations, and it’s likely that Disney will wait for the right filmmaker to come along.
Disney fired Gunn last month from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after old tweets resurfaced in which the writer and director joked on topics such as pedophilia and rape.
If you please, read the statement written and signed by The Guardians of the Galaxy cast in support of James Gunn’s reinstatement as director of GOTG Volume 3. pic.twitter.com/TjNA9RF6M8
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) July 30, 2018
Disney seems to be standing by its decision to remove Gunn from the franchise, despite a public petition and a signed cast letter in support of the filmmaker, urging for the studio to reverse its decision:
“We cannot let this moment pass without expressing our love, support, and gratitude for James. We are not here to defend his jokes of many years ago but rather to share our experience having spent many years together on set making Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2. The character he has shown in the wake of his firing is consistent with the man he was every day on set, and his apology, now and from years ago when first addressing these remarks, we believe is from the heart, a heart we all know, trust, and love. In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever. We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now.”
It’s also likely that the cast will return to the threequel, whether Gunn returns to the project or not.
Disney isn’t feeling any immediate pressure to replacing Gunn, according to Variety’s report. However, finding a new director will probably push back production originally slated for February 2019 and a 2020 theatrical release.