Disney is reportedly unlikely to rehire James Gunn as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which may cause the movie to be postponed. Despite cast members Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, and more insisting on James Gunn being rehired to direct Vol 3, it doesn’t appear likely Disney will approve the wish.
In a new report from Variety, Gunn’s firing from Disney on July 20 over controversial jokes he made on Twitter years ago is said to be the final decision on the matter. Multiple sources close to Disney told Variety that Gunn’s jokes, which riffed on topics such as pedophilia and rape, are “not in line with Disney’s family-friendly image,” which means his rehiring is not going to happen.
“I don’t see Disney re-hiring him,” an insider told Variety. “Those tweets were so horrible and Disney has a different standard than other studios.”
While Disney does acknowledge the Guardians cast’s open support for Gunn, there is widespread belief all of the actors will still appear in Guardians 3 and other possible future installments in the franchise. This is especially considering most of the actors are under contract and would likely face legal action if they opt out of the third film.
As for finding a replacement, Disney is reportedly not in any rush to find a new director for Guardians 3 and is willing to wait for the right filmmaker to come along. It’s also prepared to delay the movie’s February 2019 start date and its expected 2020 release date, which wasn’t officially confirmed yet.
When it comes to potential replacements, there’s yet to be any reported discussions on this either. Variety mentions names like Taika Waititi, Jon Favreau, and even the Russo Brothers could be approached, but all are believed to have other projects lined up that may not allow them to do it. A brand new voice could be the ultimate choice, then.