The news that James Gunn has been rehired by Disney for Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 has Marvel fans celebrating like crazy right now, as their worst nightmare about the Marvel Cinematic Universe has now been averted.
The fallout from Gunn's rehiring is still rolling over the Internet, but there's already one detail from the initial report on the matter that bears focused discussion: Apparently, Marvel Studios never seriously pursued any other director for Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3!
Here's the breakdown by THR:
"In the weeks after firing Gunn, there was speculation around town about who could replace the filmmaker, with agents lining up clients but by mid-fall, any perceived search seemed to have petered out, with many thinking that the project was on the back burner. What almost no one knew was that Marvel and Disney had never undertaken a search and had gone back to Gunn and made a deal...in secret, according to insiders."
That is a *major* reveal embedded in the report about Gunn coming back into the Marvel Studios; on a technical level, it kind of invalidates the entire headline that Gunn has been "rehired" for Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3, as it actually sounds like he was never actually fully let go, based on the above description!
In the interest of proper journalism, it should be noted that Deadline's breakdown of the situation takes a different slant:
"The decision to rehire Gunn –he was fired last July by Disney after alt-right journalists made public a fusillade of decade old social media missives that made light of pedophilia and rape — was one that was mulled and actually made months ago, following conversations with Disney studio leadership and the team at Marvel Studios. Why the change of heart? After the firing, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn met with Gunn on multiple occasions to discuss the situation. Persuaded by Gunn’s public apology and his handling of the situation after, Horn decided to reverse course and reinstate Gunn."
In Deadline's original announcement, it was said that Disney actually did cut ties with Gunn, but restablished the relationship after Gunn's impassioned apologies. It definitely is a point that needs to be clarified, as the reaction of the social justice types that originally called for Gunn's firing could largely be determined by which of these reports is the more accurate one.
Disney making public gestures of appeasement while privately protecting its embattled talent is a pretty sinister way for the studio to do business; however, if this was a decision that was truly re-examined and reversed, then the secrecy would be understandable, as big business never like to publicly reveal internal indecision or conflict of opinion. Disney CEO Bob Iger got to look decisive and confident; Marvel Studios still kept one of its most successful franchises intact; and James Gunn got a nice vacation form social media bullies, while doubling his power in the industry with both Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3, and DC's The Suicide Squad. And in the end, fans win the most from getting a much better Suicide Squad franchise, and the same Guardians they know and love.
Avengers: Infinity War is now available on home video, and Captain Marvel is now in theaters. Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Avengers: Endgame on April 26th, and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5th.
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