Paul Feig has ruled out the idea of sitting in the director's chair for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The team of misfits and outlaws first appeared in the comics back in 1969, but with a vastly different line-up. The modern incarnation debuted in 2008, before bursting onto the big screen back in 2014. The success of Vol. 1 made household names of such characters as Star Lord, Drax the Destroyer, and Groot. It also officially launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe away from Earth and deeper into the cosmos. An equally successful sequel was released in 2017. Most recently, however, the characters were seen teaming up with some of the Earth-based heroes to fight Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.
Unfortunately, the majority of the team were systematically wiped out over the course of the film. Gamora was killed first when it was revealed that Thanos would have to sacrifice her in order to claim one of the infinity stones he was seeking. The rest of the team were later caught up in the consequences of Thanos' infamous snap, with only Rocket Racoon and Nebula escaping a dusty fate. Despite this, the team was expected to return, in one form or another, for Vol. 3. Following some decade-old tweets resurfacing, however, director James Gunn was ultimately fired. The move was met with major backlash, with cast member Dave Bautista unsure whether he wants to return and even Glenn Close expressing disappointment. The sequel, which would bring the trilogy full-circle, has since been put on indefinite hold.
Ever since the drama started to unfold, theories have abounded as to whom, if anybody, could take over the franchise. Many potential candidates have been put forward, with Taika Waititi emerging as a popular frontrunner. One person who doesn't want his name included amongst them, however, is Feig. Speaking with Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, he revealed that he has absolutely zero desire to take over from Gunn:
"I would never take anything away from another filmmaker. You can think whatever, moralize about what James wrote. I don't make those kind of jokes, I don't like those kind of jokes. But still, that's James' franchise."
The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is one that is based on witty and absurdist humor, but is equally built on heart. Few films, especially within the MCU, have managed to walk the line between laugh-out-loud moments and true emotional poignancy as well as these have. As such, Feig makes a certain kind of sense. Although his work leans more towards comedy, having directed such hits as Bridesmaids and The Heat, he is set to venture into more dramatic fare with the upcoming thriller A Simple Favor. As such, he has proven adept at playing on both ends of the spectrum. He also created Freaks and Geeks, which aired on NBC for only one season but has since gone on to achieve a passionate cult following. The series was synonymous with the kind of retro aesthetic that the Guardians movies thrive on. It was also known for having misfits and outcasts as the central protagonists to hilarious and heartfelt effect.
For all his good work, however, there are also those who still haven't forgotten his part in the recent Ghostbusters reboot. For many, the film bordered on blasphemy and often veered too deeply into farce. Equally, Gunn is so stylistically and thematically woven into the fabric of the Guardians' world, right down to the music and Easter eggs, that even if Disney used his script, it remains difficult to picture anybody but him bringing it to life. It's unclear whether Feig was officially approached by Disney to take over or was merely preemptively taking himself out of the equation. Either way, whether you support Gunn over the controversy and root for his return or not, it's news that is sure to be met with a mixture of disappointment and relief.
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