When news broke yesterday that James Gunn had been reinstated to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after his firing last summer, there were wide-ranging emotions and reactions to the news. People were elated, surprised, and quite frankly astonished at this reversal of fortunes, while James Gunn himself expressed humility and gratitude. The best reaction to the news, though, came from Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi. Take a look:
Leave it to Taika Waititi to deliver the funniest response to the James Gunn news. While everyone else was celebrating James Gunn’s return, Taika Waititi acted shocked and appalled in his tweet that he didn’t get the job and will not be directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, losing out to a guy that he didn’t even think was in the running.
To appreciate Taika Waititi’s joke, you have to have followed the James Gunn/Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 saga to know why Taika would even pretend he was going to direct the film. After James Gunn’s firing, there were a lot of questions about if Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 even would or should happen, and if it did, who would and could direct it.
The name that came up most in those conversations was Taika Waititi. The Kiwi director, who so endeared himself to Marvel fans with Thor: Ragnarok, seemed to be the only obvious choice to replace Gunn. Taika Waititi has an irreverent comedic style that, although not the same as Gunn’s, seemed to be the closest approximation fans could hope for.
There were even reports that Taika Waititi had met with Marvel, leading to speculation that it was about Guardians 3. His name also seemed to be the only one other than James Gunn’s that fans would accept. If you hear something enough you start to believe it, and with all that talk about him directing Guardians, Taika Waititi could almost have believed it himself -- even though he said that he had no interest and believed that Guardians belonged to James Gunn.
We now know that Marvel never even met with or considered other filmmakers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Sorry Taika, not only did you not get the job, you weren’t even in the running. It appears that James Gunn was always going to be the once and future director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
So now James Gunn is directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Suicide Squad, showing that one doesn’t need to swear allegiance to one comic book company. As for Taika Waititi, he may not have got the Guardians gig, but he still has plenty on his plate. He followed up Ragnarok with his new Nazi satire movie Jojo Rabbit, which has not yet set a release date, and he recently directed an episode of the new Star Wars Disney+ series The Mandalorian.
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