Disney may be standing firm and not bringing James Gunn back for the next installment of Guardians of the Galaxy, but it sounds like the ousted director's script will still be used for the film.
A report from Variety indicates that Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn met with Gunn on Tuesday and while the meeting ended with Disney deciding not to reinstate Gunn on the film despite the support of the film's cast and others, it referenced that sources "have stressed that Gunn's original script will be used for the next film." This report matches an earlier one from The Hollywood Reporter that indicated that Marvel Studios plans to use the script.
Using the existing script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would make quite a bit of sense in the situation. With the film expected to go into production in early 2019 and a new director for the film not yet named, abandoning Gunn's script would likely create a significant delay in making the movie. Using the script would also allow for some continuity between the third installment and the previous two films even without Gunn directing. It might also keep some of the cast involved in the film.
Dave Bautista, who plays Drax, has been vocal about his support for Gunn and even told Shortlist earlier this month that he will quit the film if Gunn's script isn't used.
"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. "I'd be doing James a disservice if I didn't."
“Nobody’s defending his tweets, but this was a smear campaign on a good man,” Bautista explained. “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.”
Gunn was fired last month after alt-right social media personalities put together some old social media posts in which Gunn made jokes about pedophilia, rape, transmisogyny and other topics that Disney deemed inappropriate. Gunn apologized for the remarks, accepting Disney's decision and has kept largely quiet on the matter since.
As for how Disney and Marvel plans to move forward from here in addition to the script, the report noted that Feige wasn't in town for the meeting with Gunn, but once he returns the search for a new director will continue.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is rumored to be released in 2020.