Talk about a plot twist. In a stunning turn of events, James Gunn has been reinstated as the director of Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" after being fired last year.
Disney dropped Gunn, who wrote and directed the first two volumes of the franchise, apologized for the tweets, in July 2018 after old offensive tweets were dredged up by conservative personalities. Gunn publicly apologized, but he still got the boot.
His firing was controversial, with the entire "Guardians of the Galaxy" cast — including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and Dave Bautista — signing a letter in support of Gunn. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige also reportedly tried to get Disney to hire him back, but Disney refused.
"Guardians 3" was put on hold and rumors began to float about other directors taking over ("Thor: Ragnarok" director Taika Waititi publicly took himself out of the running). But Marvel still planned on using the script Gunn had written prior to his exit.
Meanwhile, Gunn moved on to Warner Bros. and the DC Universe, signing on to direct "The Suicide Squad" sequel/relaunch.
Now, as Deadline reports, Gunn is back with "Guardians" — and apparently, the decision was made months ago following secret conversations with Disney and Marvel executives. Walt Disney Studios president Alan Horn was reportedly persuaded by Gunn's apology and subsequent handling of the situation (he never bad-mouthed Disney).
Things are more complicated now that Gunn is directing "Suicide Squad," but Deadline says "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" will go into production after that movie (which is set for an Aug. 6, 2021 release).