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James Gunn Recalls The Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Emotional Response To His Firing By Disney

Rocket crying in Guardians 2

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Visionary filmmaker James Gunn became a household name thanks to his acclaimed work on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Because of this, the public was shocked when he was (temporarily) fired by Disney over offensive jokes made on Twitter a decade prior. And Gunn recently recalled the Guardians of the Galaxy cast’s emotional response during this very strange time.

James Gunn’s brief departure from the MCU put the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise in jeopardy, while also opening up his schedule for The Suicide Squad. The Guardians cast wrote a letter in solidarity with their director before he was rehired, but Gunn also explained how they were in contact immediately after the news broke. In his words,

When I got fired Chris called me immediately, and Zoe called me immediately. Zoe was crying, then Karen called me and she was crying. And then Dave was tweeting about it. Pom I talked to immediately. I talked to all of the Guardians immediately. But it was also my agents, and Sylvster Stallone sent me a video.

The Guardians of the Galaxy movies are about a chosen family, and it seems the bonds on set run just as deep. As such, the cast was appropriately emotional when it looked like James Gunn would no longer be able to complete the trilogy with Vol. 3. Luckily the House of Mouse would eventually reverse its decision and bring Gunn back to the fold.

James Gunn’s comments about this difficult time in his life come from a recent appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. While helping to market the recent release of The Suicide Squad, the conversation turned to his work in the MCU. More specifically, the time period where it looked like his work on Guardians of the Galaxy completed prematurely.

Marvel fans can re-watch James Gunn’s work in the MCU so far on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

As James Gunn mentions, he immediately heard from a number of Guardians of the Galaxy cast members when he was briefly fired by Disney in July of 2018. Gunn heard from Star-Lord himself Chris Pratt, while also fielding messages from other big names like Sylvester Stallone. He also mentions that Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan were especially emotional over the news.

In the end, the company of Guardians of the Galaxy would publish a letter in support of James Gunn shortly after his departure. They would have presumably been contracted to work with a potential replacement, although Dave Bautista said he was willing to breach that on principle. Luckily, Gunn was eventually brought back into the MCU.

In addition to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, James Gunn will also be working on additional MCU content. This includes the Guardians Holiday Special and a series of animated shorts about Baby Groot.

The next installment in the MCU is Shang-Chi on September 3rd. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.