James Gunn moving to DC proves that Disney made a mistake in firing him. Gunn had spent the last six years dedicating most of his time to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He directed two Guardians of the Galaxy movies and made Disney over $1.5 billion in doing so. But, any goodwill he'd built up was thrown away when Disney fired him as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Disney fired Gunn after old tweets resurfaced at the center of a personal and political attack on him. The tweets contained Gunn's previous attempts at shock humor, but the backlash against them coming back to light was too much for Disney to withstand. They swiftly fired him and the decision hasn't been one that all parties have agreed on. While some believe Disney had no other option, the Guardians of the Galaxy cast themselves signed a letter supporting the matured man who Gunn is today. However, they're standing by their decision and will not be bringing Gunn back to direct Guardians 3, no matter how many fans or cast members would support it.
Since Gunn wasn't coming back to complete his trilogy, he was free to move on and so he has. It was recently reported that Gunn will write and possibly direct Suicide Squad 2 for Warner Bros. and DC. His hiring on another major superhero movie less than three months after his original firing shows where WB and DC stand, but also proves that Disney's decision to fire him in the first place was a mistake.
- This Page: Disney Totally Mishandled James Gunn's Firing
- Page 2: Gunn Still Had a Future With Marvel - But Probably Not Anymore
Disney Acted Too Fast in Firing James Gunn
Disney decided to fire James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 just hours after the controversy around the decade-old tweets began. What they didn't seem to know at the time was that those tweets had been brought to light by political activist Mike Cernovich because of Gunn's repeated criticisms about Donald Trump. Gunn apologized for his past offensive style back when he was initially hired for the first Guardians movie and was quick to make another public apology in light of this attack. However, it didn't matter to Disney as they fired him shortly after his apology was published.
The problem for Disney wasn't just the decision to fire Gunn, but they did it without truly assessing the situation. While Disney CEO Bob Iger says the decision to fire Gunn was a unanimous one that he still stands by, it was still a move made in the heat of the controversy. Disney similarly acted quickly in canceling Roseanne following another racist remark by Roseanne Barr, but the difference between these two instances is large. Gunn's tweets were old attempts at comedy that don't reflect who he is now, while Barr's tweets were made in the here and now and reflected her current personal worldviews. Disney treated them as if they were the same when they are in fact not.
Disney still could've made this same decision, but allowing some time to pass to investigate the tweets themselves, why they resurfaced, and to meet with Gunn could've resulted in an entirely different outcome. Indeed, the company didn't even sit down with Gunn before firing him, only having what was described as a "courtesy meeting" with him afterward to discuss his return, which Disney chairman Alan Horn wasn't interested in... right now.
Disney Didn't Actually Want to Get Rid of Gunn Entirely
Making matters even more complicated are the various reports regarding Disney and Marvel's actual stance on Gunn and his future. As the days past by after his firing, there were multiple reports that Gunn could in some way make a return to Marvel down the road. Coming back to direct Guardians 3 looked to be a long shot, but other future movies appeared to be on the table. If this is true, then Disney didn't really want to get rid of Gunn and his firing was instead done to create separation between them as the situation cooled.
In fact, Disney likely won't be able to get rid of Gunn anyways, so finding a way to bring him back made sense. Thanks to the WGA crediting system, there is no easy way out of Gunn getting credit on Guardians 3 and any subsequent movies that the Guardians may appear in. Possibly because of this, it has been reported and further stated by Sean Gunn that Marvel will keep Gunn's script for the next Guardians film. They would basically have to have an entirely new cast of characters and story for the third film for Gunn not to receive story by credit anyways, and even then it isn't guaranteed, so it is simply easier to use what they paid for. And, it also guarantees that Gunn's larger vision for the core characters will be fulfilled as he envisioned. That's a consolation prize at best, as it will be up someone else to deliver on his take.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
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