MANILA, Philippines – James Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy director who was sacked in July 2018 over offensive tweets from years ago, has been rehired by Disney to direct the series’ third installment.
Gunn himself took to Twitter on Saturday, March 16, saying he “deeply appreciates” Disney’s move.
“I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months. I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be,” he said.
“I deeply appreciate Disney’s decision and I am excited to continue making films that investigate the ties that bind us all," the director added.
pic.twitter.com/gdMQjlqIjs — James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 15, 2019
In July 2018, Gunn was fired from directing the third Guardians of the Galaxy film after tweets where he joked about rape and pedophilia resurfaced. The tweets were posted in 2008 and 2011.
Gunn immediately owned up to the tweets, taking to Twitter a few days after they resurfaced.
"I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor," he said.
"It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over," he added.
After he was fired, the Guardians of the Galaxy cast took to social media with an open letter calling for Gunn’s reinstatement. The letter was signed by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, and other major cast members.
“The character he has shown in the way of his firing is consistent with the man he was every day on set, and his apology, now and from years ago when first addressing these remarks, we believe is from the heart, a heart we all know, trust, and love. In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever. We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now," they said.
According to Deadline, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, who initially called Gunn’s tweets “indefensible,” later met with Gunn to discuss the issue, and ultimately decided to rehire him.
Deadline said that production on Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will begin after Gunn finishes with Suicide Squad 2. – Rappler.com