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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in an interesting place at the moment. The shared universe has been on a serious hot streak with Phase Three, and the events of Avengers: Infinity War changed the MCU forever. But there's also some chaos within Marvel Studios, as Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn was recently fired from both the franchise and Disney as a whole. When shocking tweets from years ago resurfaced, Disney promptly took the Guardians head honcho from his position in the studio. The cast has since written a letter in solidarity, and Guardians actor and James Gunn's brother Sean Gunn recently spoke up about this decision, saying:
I'm not really in that game of figuring out what a massive media company is going to do, but I'm just happy to support my brother. I'm happy to see other people support him. There's been a lot of lies spread about him. I think most people understand that they are lies; it's mostly a lot of just people trying to destroy his character. I just want to see what the fans think from here on out. I hope everyone stops and listens for a minute instead of is quick to speak. The statement we made speaks for itself.
Looks like Sean Gunn is steadfast in his belief that his brother and frequent collaborator shouldn't have been fired from the franchise he helped bring to the mainstream. And while Disney likely won't reverse its decision, Gunn is hoping that fan outcry might help to grease the wheels.
Sean Gunn's comments to TMZ highlights how high stakes James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy firing continues to be, especially for those most involved in the films. The majority of what makes the franchise one of the fan favorites in the MCU is Gunn's particular sense of humor and outlook on life. With James now ousted from the property before he could properly finish the trilogy, it's unclear exactly what's going to happen with the motley crew of characters after Phase Three concludes with Avengers 4.
Before James Gunn's unexpected departure, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was one of the only confirmed blockbusters for the MCU in Phase Four. Gunn recently finished a version of the script, which would finish the three-film narrative of characters like Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, and the rest. The Guardians without their director/writer seems unnatural, and it's unclear if anyone could possibly replace Gunn to complete the trilogy. Some fans have suggested Thor: Ragnarok's Taika Waititi, although the director and studio have both been silent on the issues.
Ultimately it's unclear if James Gunn has any chance of returning to his iconic franchise, or if Marvel might give up on the property altogether after losing its director. We'll just have to wait and see.