In the weeks that have passed since Disney fired James Gunn as director of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (over backlash against his objectively bad tweets about rape and pedophilia), much has been made about Twitter trials and the political motivations of those who campaigned against him. The Guardians cast and many others have rallied in support of the embattled Gunn, and at least 350,000 fans have signed a petition for Disney to rehire him.
Could this actually happen? That’s the word on the street, and while it’s only speculation at this point, it’s informed speculation from a source who would likely know about it. Disney Insider Editor-In-Chief Skyler Shuler has tweeted that he heard Disney plans to sit down soon with Gunn to discuss his possible reinstatement as Guardians 3 director.
Shuler mentions that Disney’s not in a rush to make a decision on whether to bring Gunn back into the fold, but it must be noted that the clock is ticking on the film’s planned 2020 release. At the time of his firing, Gunn was working on the script, and it’s hard to imagine any director being able to seamlessly fill his shoes while matching the franchise’s tone. Thor: Ragnarok helmer Taika Waititi seemed like the closest match for the job, but his packed schedule would have been a challenge to overcome. And Kevin Smith already shut down speculation that he was a possibility as well.
If Shuler’s information is true, then perhaps Disney has rethought their stance in light of not only the Guardians 3 timeline but also because the conglomerate has been criticized for possible bad faith on the timing of their sudden decision to dump Gunn — since this wasn’t his first rodeo with controversy, and Disney must have been aware of previous backlashes against him. And as Bobcat Goldthwait recently pointed out, Disney also has some unsavory history that it’d prefer to sweep under the rug. There’s been no word, of course, on whether Amazon would reconsider their shelving of Gunn’s Starsky and Hutch reboot, but this story isn’t over yet.