Marvel has put ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3′ on hold after James Gunn’s firing

European Gala screening of 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' - Arrivals

Last month, James Gunn was fired by Disney. Gunn was the writer-director on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, and he was blatantly targeted by Alt-Right/MRA-types. Those Nazis didn’t really have to do much to target him though – they merely found his old tweets, stuff from 2009-16, many of which were very uncomfortable and offensive. They didn’t doctor the tweets – Gunn really tweeted all of that stuff. Disney and Marvel knew about the tweets when they hired him, but when the Alt-Right people made it into a thing, that’s when Gunn was fired. The Guardians cast all protested, in writing, and it was said that Marvel was trying to figure out a way to get Gunn re-hired. Disney wasn’t interested though. And so now… Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is being put on hold while Marvel reorganizes.

The production of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is being put on hold for the time being as Marvel and Disney regroup on the project, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Sources say that crewmembers, which is, at this stage, a small group that was prepping for preproduction, are being dismissed and are free to look for new work.

The Marvel project was originally to have been directed by James Gunn and was to have begun principal photography in the winter, either in January or February. The project was crewing up and was to have gone into full preproduction mode in the fall. But Gunn was let go as the director in July when old tweets were resurfaced in response to his vocal political posts. While some held out hope that the director would be given a reprieve by Disney, a mid-August meeting with Disney chairman Alan Horn closed the door on that. One person characterized the production hold as temporary and more of a “regrouping” as Marvel and Disney look for a filmmaker to take on the third installment of a franchise that has grossed over $1.6 billion and made stars out of Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana.

“The timeline has been pushed out,” says a source. Disney never set a release date for Guardians 3. Marvel and Disney are taking a measured approach in their search for a filmmaker — one source says that Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi recently had a meeting with Marvel, but it is unclear what project was discussed — and with good reason.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

There are many people who believe that Disney shot itself in the foot because they were manipulated by neo-Nazis and now a billion-dollar franchise is on the line. But I’ve always maintained that Gunn should have been fired for those tweets. If the Alt-Right douchebags had waged a campaign against Gunn over nothing, then sure, I would say reinstate him and apologize to him. But those tweets were truly disturbing and frankly unforgivable. So I’m fine with Gunn being out of a job, and I find the whataboutism debate to be a giant shrug too – of course Disney is the same company that rebooted Roseanne Barr’s show. Of course Disney is the same company that hushed up the crimes of sexual predators in their midst. Disney is far from perfect, but isn’t it a step in the right direction that they’re just starting to flat-out fire problematic dudes?

I can believe all of that while as the same time believing that yes, they did shoot themselves in the foot by firing Gunn and now the Guardians franchise is in a bit of trouble. But…trust the fact that Marvel and Disney have access to literally the best options to replace Gunn. Would it really be so awful to have Taika Waititi take over the Guardians franchise?

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41 Responses to “Marvel has put ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3′ on hold after James Gunn’s firing”

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  1. Boodiba says:

    Do we really need any more Marvel movies anyway?

    • courtney says:

      EXACTLY. main deal: what he shared was disgusting and beyond inappropriate. any “normal” person working a 9-5 would probably also lose their job. give someone new a chance for once. im so sick of hearing about this story. he’s not a victim. hollywood is gross

    • Chaine says:

      AMEN! I got dragged to GOG1 and 2 unwillingly and did not enjoy either of them. Always a red flag for me when a movie includes talking CGI animals.

  2. KNy says:

    I don’t much pay attention to these kinds of movies (I have seen a few, but not always willingly) but Taika is really lovely to look at. And that is me being superficial for the day.

  3. Eliza says:

    The Vol 2 script was awful, so i don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to get fresh eyes for Vol 3. They spend decent time making the first script, then the sequels are rushed because they think they got the mojo from the first still going, plus production schedule pressures. Could be blessing in disguise.

    • Prettykrazee says:

      Disney/Marvel is still using his script. Obviously, they don’t have that much of a problem with him. The only true problem they have is his words were brought to light. I know it would postpone the production of the movie by years if the scrap the script. But Do we really need a third GOTG? They are getting a ton of new characters in 6-9 months from Fox. Spend the time and money introducing those characters into the MCU.

      • Miss Margo says:

        Taika would not direct Gunn’s script. He’s smarter then that and can write a way better screenplay himself.

      • Prettykrazee says:

        Of course he wouldn’t. What director would? Not only would they have to use Gunns script but they would have to put up Batista too. Maybe someone looking for their big break? I don’t think an established director would want this headache. I also think Disney/Marvel quietly put some feelers out there and no one bit. So now they have to regroup. Marvel releases 3 movies a year. 2019 lineup is set. They are now thinking beyond phase 3. That’s why I said GOTG isn’t needed. Start the new phase with some fresh characters.

  4. PlayItAgain says:

    Frankly, after the dud of Guardians 2, I’d be okay if 3 was shelved permanently. I know I’m in the minority—so be it. Everything about that franchise (except Groot) irritates the heck out of me now.

    • FhMom says:

      But Groot is everything!

    • Shijel says:

      Never found it funny, not one bit of it. I was hyped for the 1st but walked out of the theatre feeling like the most humourless person to exist because apparently everybody was laughing but all I managed was a couple of smiles.

      I like Mantis’ and Drax’ friendship, and… that’s about it. So honestly I wouldn’t mind 3 being shelved as well so I wouldn’t have to hear how it’s the pinnacle of wit and fun. Because it isn’t. Neither was Deadpool.

      • Eliza says:

        Mantis and Drax were my favorite parts too.

        Also I never knew the answer of “what would your super power be?” and I now have my answer. Mantis. Make my 8 month old sleep well at night even when teething, ease her into contentment when upset. That’s a real game changer.

    • T.Fanty says:

      I agree. It wasn’t a great movie, and it’s also going to be hard for Starlord to come back to hero status after being the petulant baby of IW.

    • Rae says:

      At least I am not alone in not liking the second instalment. Everyone I spoke to seemed to be creaming themselves and I was stood there thinking, “this is crap compared to the first.”

      So glad to see I’m not completely weird after all!

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      I loved the first one, but HATED GotG 2. What they need to do is dump whatever script Gunn wrote, get rid of all the human stars (Rocket and Groot can stay), and reboot a new movie with Waititi directing. It should have Thor and Valkyrie team up with Rocket and Groot for more adventures. Face it, Thor is a better character than Starlord, and Valkyrie is better than Gamora. Maybe throw in the Hulk too, since Marvel isn’t going to make a stand-alone Hulk movie. It would be mash-up of Thor and GotG, but with only the good characters. You’re welcome, Disney.

    • tealily says:

      I was talking about this with my husband the other day and mentioned that we should watch the second one at some point and he reminded me that we already had. Like, recently. I have no recollection of it.

  5. Incredulous says:

    If Taika has any sense, he’ll stick to just doing Thor and do his stuff in-between.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      If we are issuing requests to Taika I would love some more Wellington Paranormal please.

    • Mia4s says:

      Taika Waititi would be wasted on Guardians 3. And I doubt he’d want to do it, given he likes to go his own way (his currently filming movie is about a young Jewish boy during WWII whose imaginary friend is Hitler. I mean…). Get a journeyman (or woman) who can imitate the Guardians tone and move on.

      Marvel is ramping up a new movie called the Eternals. My guess is they’re talking to him about his own trilogy and that would be it.

    • S says:

      Unlikely to be more Thor films, at least in the near-term, as Hemsworth’s contract is now complete and the speculation is he, and Evans, in the same contractual boat, will die in whatever Infinity War Part 2 ends up being called. Yes, in the comics, Thor’s hammer is picked up by many others, but, first off, they destroyed the hammer, and, secondly, Taika pretty much ruled out—by quickly and summarily killing off ALL the first two Thor film’s sidekicks—anyone, except, possibly, Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie who could carry on the franchise.

      Of course, it’s possible that, if Taika returns, so would Hemsworth, as they seemed to have an amazing working relationship, but, other than backing the money truck up for RDJ, Marvel usually doesn’t want to pay actors the big coin they’d need to go beyond their original contract. They feel, with some justification, that the movies are bigger than the stars, and there are plenty of far cheaper buff actors who would love to step into a superhero film at Marvel.

      • Algernon says:

        The new hammer/ax Thor had made in Infinity War is carried by Beta Ray Bill in the comics. Bring on Beta Ray Bill!

    • tealily says:

      Yeah, don’t touch it, Taika!

  6. ShinyGrenade says:

    Nooooo. Taika Waititi needs to work on We’re wolf, and other gems like Hunt for the Wilder People.
    Tho, if making Marvel’s movie give him the money he needs to do awesome independent films, sure.

  7. diana says:

    I don’t really care about the guardians franchise. Except for the rabbit, he’s fun. But no, it is not “a step in the right direction” to fire people who expressed remorse and grew up. All just to give some liberals a false sense of moral superiority.

    • Algernon says:

      This is what bothers me. Yes, his tweets were gross and inexcusable, but all evidence suggests he grew up. He had spoken several times in interviews about growing out of that behavior, and how toxic it was, and he was actually modeling what it is for an a-hole to grow up and be a better person. Not to mention his Guardian movies were about growing out of toxic masculinity (which Infinity War threw under the bus by having Quill and Gamora suddenly in lurrrv). He was punished because he *used to be* an a-hole, not because he is one today. I’m not comfortable with that, I’m not comfortable with that precedent, and it goes far beyond Gunn and Disney. It will serve Marvel and Disney right if they suddenly start struggling to get directors to work for them. If you were a politically active female director, for instance, would you want to work for them now, knowing they won’t protect you and will even fire you if Nazis make a big enough stink?

      • CairinaCat says:

        He was 40 when he was making those tweets, not some kid.

      • Algernon says:

        Yes and he was very upfront in multiple interviews about what a dickhead he was and how he had no excuse and he wasn’t proud of it. I am just not comfortable burning someone who has done the work of getting better.

    • Guest says:

      Thanks for speaking up, @diana, I feel the same way, except I am very fond of Groot, then the ‘rabbit’ (LOL!)

    • S says:

      I don’t think it’s whataboutism to point out Disney’s utter hypocrisy, not only with the items in the article, but also the recent leaked (surely by the studio, to test the waters) rumors that Pirates 6, with Depp, is a go. Or how about Deadpool 2? A Marvel (Disney-owned) co-prodcution, that featured numerous pedophile jokes, all every bit as off-putting as those James Gunn wrote. And, lastly, that Gunn did apologize previously for being an edgelord asshat AND that he’s an acknowledged witness of child abuse by a parish priest, and when he told his parents what was happening to his friends, they didn’t believe him. That stuff can certainly mess you up.

      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, James Gunn will be FINE. Marvel will be FINE. The billion dollar Guardians franchise will also probably be fine. I’m not weeping tears for any of them, and there are plenty of decisions that deserve infinitely more side eye than firing Gunn.

      Still, even though all that is true, that doesn’t also mean I’m totally comfortable with the method (alt-right attack based on Gunn’s anti-Trump outspokenness, not the content of his tweets), or end result. If Disney cited those tweets, or Gunn’s exploitation Troma film library, as reasons to never hire him in the first place, I’d have been 100% on board. But, to fire someone that has already proven himself and done so while both not engaging in the same behavior AND being very well liked by those who worked with/for him, I don’t see how it’s much different than suddenly deciding Robert Downey Jr. can’t play kid-favorite Iron Man, because a group suddenly started front-paging how he’s a felon with a drug addiction. (Both true, both well in RDJ’s past.)

      I tend to be of the belief both that most people deserve second chances AND that, yes, white guys probably get way too many of those. Both things can be true.

      • Lightpurple says:

        Just a slight correction. Disney had nothing to do with Deadpool. The film rights to Deadpool and the X-Men are owned by 20th Century Fox. After the merger goes through,Disney will own those rights but as it stands now, Disney had nothing to do with either Deadpool film.

      • Algernon says:

        @ Lightpurple True but I do want to know the crossection of people being outraged about Gunn but also laughed at the pedophilia jokes in Deadpool. I have a feeling it’s not an insignificant overlap.

    • diana says:

      @cairnacat that’s a non argument.

  8. My Hiddles says:

    I love Marvel, but the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is awful anyway, so IDGAF.

  9. Lala11_7 says:

    Yea…I don’t see how ANYONE could have read those tweets and STILL cape for this man to make GOTG…seriously…those statements went WAY BEYOND THE PALE…and it is disappointing to see folks who should know better take the stances they’re taking about a movie that COULD use another Director (and quite frankly another Screenwriter) because GOTG 2? If it weren’t for Michael Rooker (who was magnificent) and his Yondu storyline (which was…surprisingly heartbreaking) that WHOLE movie could have went straight to video in my opinion…

    Gunn’s career isn’t finished…he just got cover that horrific check that he already wrote years ago…with interest…

  10. Wood Dragon says:

    We need to make a noise for Taika. He would be fantastic!

  11. holly hobby says:

    Sorry I didn’t like the first one and didn’t bother to watch #2. However, if they want to restart it maybe it’s time they hired someone else. I didn’t think James Gunn was a genius either.

  12. Miss Margo says:

    Taika is my man! Just have him direct it and replace Bautista.

    I was at a dinner once and a couple of people were so pissed over guns firing, trying to tell me how wrong and terrible it was and blah blah blah. And I just said “He tweeted about rape and pedophilia. Who makes jokes about pedophilia?! It’s a kids franchise so sorry bro but no.”

  13. Chef Grace says:

    I am glad to know others feel the 2nd GOG sucked. It could have used TW sense of humor instead of the tacky, mean humor(less) drivel.
    Shelve it and move on.

  14. Jovi says:

    I have a problem with firing someone over stuff they said in the past. I have a problem with it ESPECIALLY when it was easy enough to see before hiring them (they already knew…it wasn’t hidden). I have a problem with firing someone who has disavowed those statements. I have a problem with the willingness of so many to insist that there is no redemption. I think these movies are garbage, but this situation is disheartening. It is no damn different to make a disgusting joke for the sake of one’s craft than it is for Meryl effing Streep to give a standing ovation over Roman Polanski, because of his contributions to their craft. This is no different than voting for someone who attacks victis of her husband’s sexual harrassment and assault. Human beings suck.

    • CairinaCat says:

      This wasn’t in some distant past, it was a couple years ago.
      And he wasn’t some young kid when he typed out the thousands of tweets, he was in his 40′s
      A man in his 40′s finds child rape funny

  15. Laura says:

    Yuck, his face is so creepy.