Hundreds of thousands of fans signed a petition. The entire main cast of the franchise wrote an open letter. But according to Variety, none of that has made a difference: Disney is not going to reverse itself, and James Gunn will remain fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 due to offensive tweets he sent many years earlier:
Walt Disney Studios is currently not planning on rehiring the filmmaker who it recently fired after a series of offensive tweets surfaced, according to multiple people familiar with the studio’s current thinking. The feeling within both Disney and Marvel is that the dozens of so-called jokes that Gunn made about pedophilia and rape are unacceptable in the #MeToo era and are not in line with Disney’s family-friendly image.
Given how much time has passed already since Disney fired Gunn after those old insensitive tweets came back to light, this is probably not too surprising. And the tweets were bad, no question about it.
That said, these tweets weren’t a shock to most people. Before Gunn worked for Marvel and Disney on Guardians, most of his career was defined by edgy (and sometimes downright shocking) horror and comedy. The guy got his start at Troma writing Tromeo & Juliet, and I literally can’t embed any clips from that movie here because then I would get fired. Even in Hollywood he cranked out dark, disturbing stuff like Slither and Super. He liked to push buttons. That was what he did.
It was a different time when Disney hired Gunn for Guardians 1, but this is not the first occasion these tweets came up, or that Gunn apologized for them. But Disney is Disney, and they do have a family-friendly image. If Gunn’s Marvel career really is kaput, then we’re going to do a lot of wondering what if, and considering all the plot threads he will never get to wrap up in Guardians Vol. 3. You can see just a few of them below.