by Graham Pierrepoint
It’s perhaps been one of the biggest flip-flopping stories of the year. James Gunn, director of both Guardians of the Galaxy movies for Disney and Marvel Studios, was rather publicly dropped from their team when historic tweets of a humorous, yet adult nature came to light online in recent weeks. While the act of removing Gunn from the Marvel line-up has been met with concern both from his colleagues and his fans, it has remained so far unclear as to what will happen next. Many were concerned that the move to take Gunn off the books full stop was too hasty – and while Disney reportedly acted as a result of an attempt to maintain its family-friendly image, there have been issues raised with the manner in which the historic tweets were unearthed in the first place.
According to recent reports by Variety, it seems that Disney has indeed shut the door on Gunn returning for good – despite both an open letter having been written by cast members of the Guardians movies in support of the director, and a widespread outcry over the move as mounted by long time fans of the franchise. A meeting has supposedly taken place between Alan Horn, chairman of Disney Studios, and Gunn – and it appears that Horn has not backed down on his initial decision to let Gunn go. It’s thought than Kevin Feige, in charge of Marvel, backs the decision – and that could mean all change for the direction in which Guardians 3, due for release after a wave of Marvel movies in the next few years, is heading.
▶ Disney Isn't Rehiring James Gunn For 'Guardians 3'
For one thing, it may mean that Drax actor Dave Bautista drops out entirely. Offering a dislike at the idea of performing a script that hasn’t been helmed by Gunn, the actor has confirmed via interview that he feels he would be ‘doing James a disservice’ if he didn’t request to be released from his contract. It’s thought that contracts for the Guardians actors may require them to stay on board for Vol 3 – but as the most outspoken of those backing the director of the main cast, it now remains to be seen as to what Bautista intends to do next.
What now for Guardians 3 – and for Marvel in general? How will the fans react? This is a saga that we feel hasn’t quite ended just yet.