Eight months ago, director James Gunn was removed as director of Marvel’s “Guardians Of The Galaxy 3” ― but now he’s back on the job.
In July, Disney, which owns Marvel Studios, cut ties with Gunn after Pizzagate conspiracy theorists Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec drew attention to tasteless tweets the filmmaker posted between 2008 and 2011.
But Deadline reported Friday that Gunn has been reinstated by Walt Disney Studios president Alan Horn, who was reportedly impressed with how the director handled himself after he was canned.
“Unlike the defensive posture exhibited by Kevin Hart that led him to skip hosting the Oscars, Gunn fell on his sword early and often and never lashed out at Disney,” Deadline’s Mike Fleming wrote.
According to Fleming’s report, Horn actually decided to rehire Gunn “months ago,” and Marvel “never met with or considered any other director” for the third “Guardians” installment.
After his earlier tweets came to light last year, Gunn released this statement to the media:
My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.
Stars of the “Guardians” films, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, signed a letter strongly expressing their support of Gunn shortly after his removal.
“Although I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man,” Pratt wrote on Instagram at the time. “I’d personally love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3.”
Following his ouster from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Gunn signed on to write, and possibly direct, a “Suicide Squad” sequel for Warner Bros.’ DC movie franchise.
The Hollywood Reporter said Gunn plans to continue working on both that film and the third “Guardians” movie.
Gunn posted a tweet Friday afternoon acknowledging his return to Disney, saying he was “tremendously grateful” to his supporters and “excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all.”