by Graham Pierrepoint
While it’s been an extraordinary year for both Disney and Marvel Studios thanks to the colossal global success of both Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, there has been one particular story which continues to dog the Marvel name thanks to a hill of controversy – and it all surrounds director James Gunn, who was dropped by Disney following an unearthing of historic tweets which went against the family-friendly image of the brand. Gunn has since apologized and claimed full responsibility over his previous actions, however, Disney continued to agree to let the director go, despite continued outcry from fans and despite Gunn having helmed both previous Guardians instalments, both of which remain hugely popular.
It seems there really is no budging Disney on the Gunn issue – even after an open letter signed by the main stars of Guardians and star Dave Bautista alluding to potentially reconsidering his contract with Marvel Studios should the director remain removed. It now seems that – as a result of change in personnel, at least – reports are suggesting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 may now be on the backburner for some time to come. Does this mean that a third adventure for the misfit crew is completely off the cards?
▶ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 on hold
It’s very unlikely that’s the case – Guardians remains a hugely popular franchise – though Gunn’s departure will likely mean big changes back of house. It’s thought that Disney and Marvel have opted to drop Guardians 3 from its release schedule as a result of the fracas, with some sources assuming that this will effectively give the studio time to find a new director to fit the brand. Some sources are also claiming that Taika Waititi, who directed the hugely popular Thor: Ragnarok, has met with executives recently – however, it remains unsubstantiated as to whether or not such meetings revolved around the director potentially taking over Guardians 3 from Gunn.
There’s little denying that Waititi would be a great fit for the franchise – after all, his take on Thor sat very well with fans and critics alike (Ragnarok was our Movie of the Year for 2017). However, it also remains to be seen as to whether or not Gunn’s proposed script for the sequel will be used, and if so, whether or not he will be credited. Furthermore – what will take the place of Guardians 3 in the schedule?