Edgar Wright, who was once attached to helm Ant-Man for Marvel Studios, is the latest filmmaker to celebrate the reinstatement of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 writer-director James Gunn. Wright sent Gunn an excited text message, writing, “Love it!!!!”
Gunn was officially rehired by Disney Friday, ending the campaign for Gunn’s return to the franchise after the Guardians mastermind was fired in July over resurfaced tweets containing offensive subject matter, including pedophilic jokes. Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said at the time the tweets were “indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values,” declaring in a statement the company had severed its business relationship with Gunn.
But Horn, swayed by Gunn’s public apology and his graceful handling of the subsequent controversy, is said to have ultimately reconsidered his position on the firing after “multiple” meetings with Gunn, according to a report from Deadline. In its own report released Friday, The Hollywood Reporter claimed Disney had never met with potential replacements, and instead had secretly retained Gunn to secure his services for the now-delayed tentpole once expected to launch in May 2020.
Wright parted ways with Disney in 2014, citing creative differences for his departure from the long-gestating Ant-Man. He was quickly replaced by Peyton Reed, who went on to steer the 2015 blockbuster and its 2017 sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp.
“I think the most diplomatic answer is I wanted to make a Marvel movie but I don’t think they really wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie,” the Shaun of the Dead and Baby Driver visionary told Variety in 2017.
“It was a really heartbreaking decision to have to walk away after having worked on it for so long, because me and Joe Cornish in some form — it’s funny some people say, ‘Oh they’ve been working on it for eight years’ and that was somewhat true, but in that time I had made three movies so it wasn’t like I was working on it full time.
“But after The World’s End I did work on it for like a year, I was gonna make the movie. But then I was the writer-director on it and then they wanted to do a draft without me, and having written all my other movies, that’s a tough thing to move forward thinking if I do one of these movies I would like to be the writer-director. Suddenly becoming a director for hire on it, you’re sort of less emotionally invested and you start to wonder why you’re there, really.”
Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, once pegged as a popular pick for a suitable replacement on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, explained he wasn’t interested in the gig because, like Wright’s style, Gunn’s DNA is ingrained within the Guardians franchise.
“Going into something like that with his stamp all over his films, would be like going into someone’s house and saying ‘Hey, I’m your new dad, and this is how we make peanut butter sandwiches now,’” Waititi said in January. “It feels kind of awkward.”
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