Marvel is reportedly looking at Bumblebee's Travis Knight to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The MCU's cosmic sub-franchise has long been associated with filmmaker James Gunn, whose passion for the material fueled two worldwide blockbusters that made the obscure comic title a household name. For a while, Gunn was in place to helm the upcoming third installment, but Disney fired him from the project over the summer after offensive tweets from Gunn's past resurfaced. While the studio still plans on using Gunn's script, it's been confirmed he won't return to direct.
Originally set to begin production in early 2019 to meet a hypothetical 2020 release date, the next Guardians of the Galaxy is currently on hold as Marvel figures out their strategy. Of course, finding a replacement director is of paramount importance, and now the studio may have an idea as to who they want to call the shots.
According to The Disinsider, Knight is in the running for the job. In addition to Bumblebee, Knight also helmed 2016's Kubo and the Two Strings. He was seen as a possibility for The Eternals gig, before Marvel hired Chloe Zhao.
Should this pan out, Knight would prove to be an inspired choice to step in for Gunn. Kubo was widely praised for its breathtaking visuals and emotionally engaging story, which managed to connect with viewers of all ages. And while Bumblebee is still about a month away from premiering in theaters, the marketing materials have teased a Transformers story that's full of heart. Many fans are optimistic the spinoff will be a substantial step up from Michael Bay's installments, blending spectacle and substance into a rewarding package this holiday season. It's still early in Knight's directorial career, but on-paper it looks like his sensibilities would translate very well to Guardians. Gunn's movies were known for their humor, but they were also genuinely moving and knew how to pull on the heartstrings.
This development does contradict an earlier rumor that suggested Marvel was targeting a female director for the Guardians of the Galaxy 3 job. Previously, names such as Dee Rees, S.J. Clarkson, and Michelle MacLaren were said to be on the short list, so something might have changed. Of course, it's important for viewers to keep in mind this is all speculation and rumor for the time being, and with Guardians of the Galaxy 3 on the back-burner for the time being, it might be some time before any concrete developments are made.