Director James Gunn’s New Endeavor After Getting Fired From “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”


Tessa Bannister, Writer

James Gunn, widely known for directing the Guardian’s of the Galaxy films, was recently fired by Walt Disney Studios from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’. It’s a blow to all the fans, including the entire cast, who wrote letters on his behalf in hopes of his return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While that door has officially closed, another opened. On October 9, 2018, Warner Bros. confirmed that Gunn will write DC’s “Suicide Squad 2.”

Born in 1966, James Gunn is an American filmmaker, actor, novelist, and a musician. Married to Jenna Fischer, known for her portrayal of Pam Beesly on the NBC sitcom The Office, James started his career as a screenwriter for shows such as Scooby Doo. Later in 2006, James had his directorial debut in the horror-comedy film called Slither.  Henceforth in 2014, he directed the film Guardians of the Galaxy, and the sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy 2. He was considered vitally important in the success of both films, which combined made over $1.6 billion worldwide.

In preparation for the third Guardians movie, James was fired. Gunn was removed as director of the films due to controversial posts he made to social media years ago, which resurfaced and didn’t align with the values of the studio. Shortly after Gunn’s firing, there was an immediate backlash from the cast. A letter was written by the cast which contained Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista, explaining how “they ‘fully support’ Gunn and ‘[look] forward to working with [their] friend James again in the future.’” Actor Dave Bautista, who portrays Drax in the series, defended Gunn by stating the director “made mistakes” but strongly disagrees with his firing. On July 28 he Tweeted: “I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this..@JamesGunn is one of the most loving, caring, good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. I’m NOT ok with what’s happening to him.” Many others have come to Gunn’s defense including actor Kurt Russell who was in the second Guardians movie stating “He has a wonderful heart and a wonderful mind. I hope he is forgiven.”

Gunn issued a statement saying, “My words of nearly a decade were at the time, totally failed of unfortunate efforts, to be provocative”. Nevertheless, he continued, “Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken”. Sadly, he was also released from his role in helping lead Marvel’s planned movie, Cosmic Universe. As shocking as his removal has been to fans and those within the cinematic industry, there is a rumor that Gunn may still have a chance to get back to Marvel in some role thanks to the vocal support of so many, including the entire cast of the Guardians movies. Although Disney has stated multiple times that they will not hire James Gunn, or even consider it, everyone is hopeful.  After James Gunn’s firing, many have wondered who the director will be for the next Guardians of the Galaxy film. Rumors have been spread that the next director will either be Taika Waititi, who directed Thor: Ragnarok, or the Rosso Brothers, famously known for directing the Avengers series.