In the wake of director James Gunn being fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, there have been plenty of names bandied about as possible replacements, but there's still no obvious answer. Though there is another name that's already a part of the Guardians family that could do it: Rocket Raccoon himself, Bradley Cooper. Nobody was really talking about this possibility a few months ago, but now that Bradley Cooper's directorial debut, A Star is Born has screened, it certainly seems like he should be in the conversation. However, when asked if he was interested in the job, Bradley Cooper made it clear he doesn't want to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, responding:
In directing it? I could never direct anything that I didn't write. No, I could never direct anything that I didn't write.
So that idea died on the vine just when it was beginning to grow. Bradley Cooper's response to JOE makes it clear that he is not interested in directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 because he didn't write it. Now he could change his mind about directing someone else's words in time, but at this stage of his directorial career, he doesn't want to. He has only directed one film so far, but he seems to be favoring the auteurist approach of the likes of the Coen Brothers, Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino, who write and direct their films. Writing and directing is what he's used to so far, and judging by the reactions to A Star is Born, it looks like he will have a ton of success with that approach.
Perhaps if James Gunn were fired prior to completing the script, things might be different and Bradley Cooper could have been brought on to write and direct, but at the moment, it seems like Disney still intends on using James Gunn's script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. That's certainly what fans want, desiring to see James Gunn's vision, style and humor preserved as much as possible even though he isn't directing the film. You have to think Disney wants that too considering the success of the first two Guardians films. Bradley Cooper has also been supportive of James Gunn after his firing, along with the rest of the Guardians cast, so it seems unlikely that he would even want the job, whether he was writing or not.
Even though Bradley Cooper hit a home run in his directorial debut, that doesn't mean that he would be right for a Guardians movie, but it certainly shows that he is a talented filmmaker whose projects will be increasingly buzzed about moving forward. That said, Marvel already has a working relationship with the actor, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him tackle something else for the studio in the future.
For the moment, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is in limbo. Production has been delayed while Disney presumably sorts out how best to proceed. If you're interested in checking out Bradley Cooper's directing chops to see what all the fuss is about, you can see A Star is Born, in theaters on October 5. Keep an eye on our guide for everything going on in the MCU and check out our release schedule for all the biggest movies heading to theaters this year.