With Captain Marvel crushing the box office and Avengers: Endgame coming to theaters next month, it’s looking be another massive year at the movies for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And today, the MCU is once again making headlines after it was announced that Director James Gunn will be returning as writer and director of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3.
The news, which was originally reported by The Hollywood Reporter, will surely come as a surprise to many given the divisive nature of his firing. Gunn was dropped by Marvel last summer when offensive tweets were discovered that included jokes about pedophilia, rape, and 9/11. The director apologized but also defended his tweets, which were from before he directed GOTG Vol. 1 & 2, and subsequent growth, writing, “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.”
Many actors from the Guardians films voiced their support for Gunn, including Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, and Bradley Cooper. However, Disney, which owns Marvel Studios, quickly cut ties with the director when his tweets began to circulate online.
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” said Alan Horn, Walt Disney Studios chairman, in a statement.
Now, less than a year later, Gunn will return to direct and write Volume 3, which does not yet have a release date. Of course, many of the Guardians will be featured in Endgame — which Gunn reportedly consulted on for dialogue — as Nebula and Rocket have both been featured in the trailers and many fans have speculated Gamora may be resurrected.