In July last year Disney fired Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn for inappropriate tweets dating back a decade or more.
In an surprise u-turn, Disney have rehired Gunn some eight months later. It has been confirmed that James Gunn will return to direct a third Guardians of the Galaxy film.
Having directed the first two, Gunn had already scripted a third instalment for the Guardians of the Galaxy series when Disney made the decision to fire the filmmaker for past online indiscretions. Tweets, some of which were posted ten or more years previously, were thrust into the public domain once more by Mike Cernovich, a far-right activist and conspiracy theorist.
The tweets are undeniably offensive. Gunn made jokes about rape and abuse. His defense hinged on the age of the tweets and his naivety in trying to be edgy at the time. Taking to twitter in July 2018 he wrote:
“Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.
It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.
In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies.
For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it.
Anyway, that’s the completely honest truth: I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all.“
Despite his public regret and apologies Disney made the decision to fire Gunn from his work with Marvel Studios. The move felt somewhat knee-jerk at the time, and soon fans and the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy were rallying to have the director reinstated.
Few could have predicted Disney’s change of heart especially as Gunn had since signed up with Marvel’s biggest rivals, DC, to direct their anti-hero sequel to the abysmal Suicide Squad.
As the news broke of his reinstatement, James Gunn took to twitter once more. This time to thank Disney and his fans for their unwavering support.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will begin production once Gunn completes his commitment to Suicide Squad 2.