Disney hasn't released a statement on Gunn's script for the third Guardians movie, but Omega Underground's Christopher Marc suggests they've already made a decision internally (via MCU Cosmic).
"Looks like Marvel Studios may have indeed tossed out James Gunn's script for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.3," Marc wrote. "Something I expected was the next
Looks like Marvel Studios may have indeed tossed out James Gunn's script for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.3. Something I expected was the next step, if this is confirmed there will be a massive production delay ahead for the sequel. pic.twitter.com/qgkcsbdvmC— Christopher Marc (@_ChristopherM) August 8, 2018
Marvel has parted ways with directors before and still used their material, though this situation is a bit different.
"Just for some context, when Edgar Wright left ANT-MAN he wasn't fired and Disney didn't make a declaration of severing their working relationship with him. Hence, they used some of his writing work for the film," Marc wrote.
"While throwing out Gunn's script is only a rumor. It makes a lot of sense to keep him off the project entirely to keep
This wouldn't be the first time Disney has had to shift directors but keep a similar tone (e.g. Solo), so an incoming director would be understandably open to starting anew. Still, this is a huge franchise and the third in a trilogy, so changing the tone or characterization too much would probably not be advised.
The cast of the Guardians movies
“We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten days to respond in order to think, pray, listen, and discuss,” the statement reads. “In that time, we've been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director of Volume 3 as well as discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding him.”3comments
“In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever,” the statement continues. “We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now.”
The statement was signed by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker and Bradley Cooper.