James Gunn and Disney have finally reconciled their differences, and the controversial director is back for a third Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
Deadline reported Friday that Disney has reinstated James Gunn as writer-director of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3, a film that had been stalled indefinitely after Gunn was fired by Disney as the result of an alt-right smear campaign in July. Reportedly, the decision to rehire Gunn was “actually made months ago.” Inverse has also confirmed that Gunn is back in the director role.
But why was Gunn fired in the first place? Why did it take so long for things to get smoothed over? The story might’ve begun more than a year ago. It’s long. It’s exhausting. This news broke on a Friday. Here are eight tweets to get you caught up.
James Gunn has been an outspoken liberal on Twitter for years, openly mocking and criticizing President Donald Trump. He famously offered the President $100,000 to step on a scale to make his actual body weight a matter of public record.
This and other similarly charged comments incensed the alt-right. In the ensuing months, members of the “alt-right” found a number of awful jokes Gunn made about pedophilia and rape on Twitter circa 2009 to 2011.
It was, quite frankly, a vengeful smear campaign.
To be clear: These horrible jokes were very much so in poor taste. They’re outright terrible, but they genuinely seem like dark humor and nothing more sinister than that. Nobody would make jokes this awful in 2018, but a decade ago when Twitter was a different place, people felt like this was okay.
Almost immediately after Gunn’s tweets became the focus of public scrutiny, he was hit with accusations of outright pedophilia.
As the scandal grew, Gunn apologized.
It wasn’t quite enough, however, and in a public statement, Disney condemned Gunn’s comments, saying, “we have severed our business relationship with him.”
Just like that, he was fired.
Within two weeks of Gunn’s firing, the entire Guardians of the Galaxy cast, led by Dave Bautista, penned a this etter calling for the decision to be reversed. Bautista was easily the most vocal campaigner for Gunn to be rehired.
Recent reports indicate that it didn’t take long for Disney to approach James Gunn to secretively broker a deal to rehire him.
First Captain Marvel’s wild box office success, then the excellent Endgame trailer, and now this news that pleases Marvel fans everywhere? What a month it’s been.
Since his rehiring, James Gunn has shared a thank-you letter on Twitter.
To many fans out there, this feels like “sweet justice.”
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 has no confirmed release date, but the industry-only resource Production Weekly revealed that it might be scheduled for February 2021.