With no director on board for the next "Guardians of the Galaxy" film after the firing of James Gunn, Disney has decided to put the film "on hold," according to THR.

While speculation ran high that Gunn would be rehired -- or that another MCU-tested director like Taika Waititi ("Thor: Ragnarok") would sign on, neither of those things happened.

Disney declined to rehire Gunn, who was dismissed over his tasteless 10-year-old tweets. And a reported meeting with Waititi apparently went nowhere.

Now the hunt for a replacement seems to have been shelved.

THR reports that Marvel and Disney are "regrouping." And that crew members who were prepping for pre-production are being dismissed and told to look for work elsewhere.

The third "Guardians" film was originally set to start filming in January or February 2019. "The timeline has been pushed out," a source told THR. Disney hadn't yet set an official release date for "Guardians 3."

The cast of "Guardians" has staunchly supported Gunn, especially Dave Bautista, who threatened to quit if Gunn's script isn't used for the third film.

A petition to rehire the director of the first two hit films has received more than 380,000 signatures so far. (There's also a petition not to rehire Gunn, which has about 4200 signatures at last count.)

[Via THR]