A new report says James Gunn's Starsky & Hutch reboot is off the table at Amazon Studios, but it's unclear whether the move has anything to do with the former Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 writer-director's controversial tweets. It's been a rough few days for Gunn, who was fired by Disney on Friday, following the revelation of years-old tweets where the filmmaker made jokes about rape and pedophilia. The architect of Marvel Studios' highly lucrative Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Gunn immediately apologized for the now-deleted posts, which were spread around by conservative commentators Jack Posobiec and Mike Cernovich in an apparent retaliation to Gunn's online criticism of President Donald Trump.
Despite the shocking nature of his tweets, celebrities have come out in support of Gunn, defending his character and noting the filmmaker's dark sense of humor. Also, fans have started a petition demanding Disney reinstate Gunn at the helm of Guardians 3. Apart from those efforts, other Gunn projects have already started to erode, beginning with Sony Pictures canning Gunn's planned movie announcement at the studio's Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con. And now, another project from the filmmaker has been declared dead.
According to Yahoo!, Gunn's planned reboot of the 70s TV series Starsky and Hutch is no longer in development at Amazon Studios. Amazon had purchased the rights to the Sony TV series with a straight-to-series commitment last August, but when Yahoo! recently followed up with the company about if Gunn was still going to direct the project, a spokesperson said, “We passed on the project completely months ago. There was no statement. This is the same for any other project we do not move forward with.”
Don't be surprised if fans and celebrities supporting Gunn question why Amazon didn't announce the move earlier, especially since months ago Gunn was still in the good graces of Hollywood following the blockbuster success of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and very much a high-profile director. At the same time, the online giant does appear to have a solid explanation in place, citing a company policy that they don't release statements on projects they pass up.
Whether Gunn's latest scandal killed Starsky & Hutch or not, it'll be interesting to see how Gunn's firing from Disney will continue to affect his career going forward, as well as what happens to other filmmakers and celebrities who've posted jokes or statements in the past that others might find offensive. Social media scandal already looks to have killed Roseanne Barr's career - at least for now - and in Gunn's case, it appears that no matter how long ago one might have transgressed, one's public misdeeds can still come back to haunt them.