It was a shockwave that rippled through the San Diego Comic-Con community, even though it didn't involve a project that was on the ground in Southern California. James Gunn, the heart and soul of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, was removed from the third movie in the series -- which is heading into pre-production within months -- because of offensive tweets that were unearthed on his Twitter timeline. Disney's decision to sever ties with Gunn was swift, and final. Some of Gunn's Guardians have come to his defense. Now, though, the writer/director himself has issued a statement, which reads:
Speaking from a creative standpoint, this is a real blow. The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise has James Gunn's fingerprints all over it, and while a movie like Thor: Ragnarok shows how Taika Waititi can come in and juice up a bland series, I'm not sure who steps in a provides the same colorful spark and attitude that Gunn brought to those films. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would have been a trilogy capper that concluded the story Gunn began back in 2014. Now that will fall to another filmmaker.
As of now, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is slated to hit theaters in 2020, though we don't know the release date of it yet. There are still so many stones that need to drop regarding the storylines of Avengers 4 and Captain Marvel, and they could all have an impact on what happens with the Guardians' story. And, now that we think about it, a fair number of the current team is dead, having dusted at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. Could the actors ask not to come back? And what of Sean Gunn, who does the motion capture for Rocket? Does he continue to work in the Guardians/MCU realm?
The questions, in the wake of this firing, continue to pile up. We'll bring you the answers as we have them.
Managing Director at CinemaBlend. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.
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