James Gunn Will Not Be Brought Back To Direct Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

Guardians of the Galaxy James Gunn

In the weeks since James Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, there has been a lot of discussion about the permanence of the situation. Not only has there been a great deal of fan support urging Disney to reverse their decision, but the entire cast of the Marvel series signed an open letter supporting Gunn. As a result, there has been hope among fans that Gunn would be rehired - but according to a new report, it looks as though those hopes have been dashed.

A new report from Variety has the latest update on the situation with James Gunn, and the trade is saying that Disney and Marvel are sticking with their decision to fire James Gunn because of offensive tweets the filmmakers posted a decade ago. According to the new report, there was a recent meeting between Gunn and Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn, and the ultimate decision from the exchange is that the writer/director will not return to take the helm of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Apparently, James Gunn has been negotiating to try and get his job back after being let go in late July, and Alan Horn agreed to meet with the filmmaker earlier today. The story adds that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was not in town for the meeting, and contrary to some rumors to the contrary, he stands behind the studio's decision to not give Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 back to Gunn.

This, of course, continues to leave the third chapter of the Marvel space opera in a nebulous state. It remains unclear if Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will utilize the screenplay that James Gunn has already written, and Dave Bautista has threatened to exit his contract should the script not be used. It is also going to be an extreme challenge for Marvel Studios to find a replacement. Not only is Gunn a popular figure among modern filmmakers, taking the gig is a pretty thankless job. Either the person uses Gunn's material and is essentially forced to craft someone else's vision; or they get the chance to do their own thing and get harangued simply for not being Gunn and breaking the aesthetic continuity. It's a thankless job either way, and it's hard to imagine even a young director trying to prove themselves standing in front of that train.

Because Marvel Studios has been slow to officially announce their full Phase Four slate, it's worth noting that there really isn't any rush for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's development. James Gunn vaguely said a few months ago that the blockbuster would be released in 2020, but we haven't heard anything more specific than that (production was gearing up to start in early 2019). We're going to continue to keep a close eye on the movie's development and the situation with the filmmaker, so stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for the latest updates.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.