With it looking increasingly unlikely that Disney will rehire filmmaker James Gunn to his previous position with Marvel Studios, it would behoove Warner Brothers to recruit the Guardians of the Galaxy director to take the helm on a DC Comics' movie. Disney recently fired Gunn from his position as writer and director on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 following reports of tasteless jokes that he had made over a decade earlier on his social media, which surfaced at the height of San Diego Comic-Con 2018.
Gunn's firing was the result of a campaign led by conservative bloggers Michael Cernovich and Jack Posobiec. Gunn was apparently targeted due to his outspoken criticism of President Donald Trump on his personal social media. Disney, perhaps fearful of looking hypocritical following their firing of conservative comedian Roseanne Barr in response to racist comments she had made on her Twitter account, was just as quick to fire the progressive Gunn as the controversy sparked on-line. Ironically several liberal groups had taken Gunn to task over the same tasteless jokes in 2012 (when he had first been hired to work on Guardians of the Galaxy) at which point Gunn formally apologized and proclaimed that the jokes were not indicative of the man he had become.
At first, it seemed like Gunn would return to his Guardians 3 role, with a range of celebrities coming to his defense. Now, that's looking less likely, and the question becomes where he goes next. One option may be to jump sides and join DC.
- This Page: James Gunn Probably Isn't Going Back To Marvel
- Page 2: Why DC Is The Perfect Home For James Gunn
Disney Seems Unlikely To Rehire James Gunn
The negative response to Gunn's firing was nearly as swift as Disney's speed in dismissing the beloved filmmaker. By the end of Comic-Con 2018, fans had launched a petition demanding Gunn's reinstatement. In the two weeks since Gunn's firing, the petition has attracted over 360,000 signatures.
One week after Gunn's firing, the stars of Guardians of the Galaxy issued an open letter, affirming their support for Gunn and their desire to work with him again in the future. Actor Dave Bautista, who plays the role of Drax The Destroyer, went a step further, specifically calling out the "cybernazis" who were out to destroy Gunn's career by spreading conspiracy theories of Gunn being a pedophile and a rapist in the wake of his firing and voicing his displeasure with Disney. More recently, iconic actor Kurt Russell, who played a key role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and got his start in Hollywood as a child actor with Disney, announced his support of Gunn and desire to see him rehired.
Despite these widespread displays of loyalty and support for Gunn, it does not seem likely that Disney is going to reconsider its position anytime soon, with the latest reports suggesting they're looking for a replacement. Rehiring Gunn so quickly after his incredibly public firing and admitting that they had made a mistake would represent a major loss of face for the studio. Additionally, there is still the problem that Gunn's humor did violate the letter of Disney's law regarding their expectations for upright behavior among their employees, even if he hadn't been working for the company at the time of the comments.
A larger problem is that while the reasons behind the reports of Gunn's past are well-known in fan-circles, that knowledge is not so widespread in the mainstream media. Gunn's name has become so firmly tied to a string of half-truths and rumors that Texas Senator Ted Cruz called for an investigation into Gunn's past, despite no criminal charges or civil suits having been leveled against him. As such, Disney's family-friendly brand cannot afford any association with Gunn at this time, regardless of the truth or Gunn's efforts to change himself for the better over the past decade.
Page 2 of 2: Why DC Is The Perfect Home For James Gunn
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