Disney has rehired James Gunn to direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Gunn, of course, was an integral reason why the cosmic team rose from obscure comic book title to international blockbuster superstars over the past handful of years, injecting their two standalone movies with his trademark sense of heart and humor. Unsurprisingly, Gunn was all set to helm the third installment, but was fired from the gig last summer when old controversial tweets of his resurfaced. The move shocked the entertainment industry and several people came to Gunn's defense in the aftermath.
Marvel Studios always maintained they were using Gunn's script for Guardians of the Galaxy 3, but struggled finding a replacement director. Several fan-favorite picks like Edgar Wright and Taika Waititi took their names out of the running, feeling it would be wrong to infringe on Gunn's territory. While Disney searched for answers, Gunn found a new home at DC to oversee their Suicide Squad reboot. However, in the latest twist to this story, Gunn is going to direct Guardians 3 after all.
According to Deadline, Gunn has been rehired to helm Guardians 3. He was brought back onboard "months ago" prior to this announcement due to Disney president Alan Horn being impressed with Gunn's apology and actions following the controversy. Gunn's expressed remorse for his old tweets (which joked about topics like pedophilia) multiple times and stated how he's grown as a person.
It goes without saying this news will be extremely well-received by members of the Marvel community and MCU fans. The Guardians cast (Dave Bautista in particular) were vocal about their displeasure to axe Gunn in the first place, knowing full well what the filmmaker brought to the series. Gunn is the primary creative driving force behind the Guardians sub-franchise (even helping the Russos out on Infinity War), so it's great to see he'll be back to guide the characters towards the end of their story. One of the concerns many viewers had about replacing Gunn was the risk that came with bringing someone else in to ape Gunn's style. Marvel was apparently well aware of those dangers, seeing they reportedly "never met" with other names about the Guardians 3 job.
Sadly, it's going to be some time before audiences get to see Gunn's trilogy finale. Warner Bros. set The Suicide Squad for a 2021 release, and Marvel's agreed to hold off on Guardians 3 until Suicide Squad is finished. That means the MCU will be well into Phase 4 by the time this film rolls into theaters, and it explains why they've been prioritizing the likes of Black Widow and Eternals for the time being. Considering Guardians of the Galaxy 3 was supposed to come out in 2020, this is a little frustrating for fans, but the news of Gunn's return makes the pill easier to swallow.