After a meeting between Disney execs and the ousted director of Guardians of the Galaxy, a new report indicates that the company is standing firm and will not bring back James Gunn for the next installment in the popular franchise.
The report from Variety indicates that Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn met with Gunn on Tuesday, in what is being described as a "courtesy," and that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was not in attendance.
It is rumored that Feige did try to get Gunn reinstated, but he is standing by Disney's decision to distance themselves from the director.
Gunn was fired last month in the midst of San Diego Comic-Con after alt-right social media personalities compiled a list of old social media posts where the director made jokes about pedophilia, transmisogyny, and other topics that Disney deemed inappropriate. Gunn has since apologized for the remarks and accepted Disney's punishment, though the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy made a push for his return.
In a show of support, cast members Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautistia, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, and Michael Rooker all signed a letter that urged Disney to reconsider and bring Gunn back.
"It is our hope that what has transpired can serve as an example for all of us to realize the enormous responsibility we have to ourselves and to each other regarding the use of our written words when we etch them in digital stone; that we as a society may learn from this experience and in the future will think twice before we decide what we want to express; and in so learning perhaps can harness this capability to help and heal instead of hurting each other," the letter stated. "Thank you for taking the time to read our words."
It was rumored that Disney was considering reinstating Gunn, or that they would use the script he just turned in for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Bautista even threatened to quit if they would not use the script and has been critical of Disney's decision to fire Gunn.
"Where I'm at right now is that if [Marvel] don't use that script, then I'm going to ask them to release me from my contract, cut me out or recast me," Bautista said in an interview with Shortlist. "I'd be doing James a disservice if I didn't."19comments
"Nobody's defending his tweets, but this was a smear campaign on a good man," Bautista said. "I spoke to Chris Pratt the day after it happened and he's a bit religious so he wanted time to pray and figure it out, but I was more like: f-ck this. This is bullsh-t. James is one of the kindest, most decent people I've met."
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is rumored to be released in 2020. There's no word yet on who will replace Gunn in the director's chair, but it's likely they will use Gunn's script according to the report.