Gunn’s Back, Baby!
The impossible has happened: James Gunn has been reinstated as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. Yes, in a move that has surprised everyone in the nerd-verse, Disney head Alan Horn has put Gunn back in the director’s chair after firing him back in July, causing a PR nightmare that the House of Mouse couldn’t really ever recover from, no matter who they brought in. It’s a big win for the MCU, for Gunn, for fans of the films, and for Marvel Studios, who no longer have to field the “Who will replace the guy who was fired without your input” question that has dogged them at every event since July.
I’ve mentioned it before, but the decades-old tweets that Gunn was fired over were horrible, make no mistake. They were tasteless jokes then, and they’re even worse now that time has gone on. But this “crusade” to get him fired wasn’t well-warranted. Started by a small group of alt-right twitter users (led by a guy so awful I’m not even going to name his name), the decision by Alan Horn seemed extremely rash, and one that immediately seemed like a mistake once you did an even basic search into the history of the people calling for him to be fired.
Before this whole fiasco, Gunn was very active on social media, for good and bad. For every post sharing a fun tidbit about the making of one of his movies, there were at least three of him engaging with the very trolls that got him canned in the first place. While one would hope that this experience would embolden Gunn to put up with even less crap from trolls, I have the feeling that one of the contingencies on him coming back was to not use his social media accounts for anything other than promotion (and to say “thank you” for the support during this time).
Reports are still coming out regarding how in-depth of a search Disney did to find a replacement for Gunn (according to most of them, they didn’t do much to look). It’s highly possible that they never intended to replace him in the first place, and that they were just waiting for the Fox buyout deal to fully be in place before reinstating him. But then how was Gunn still able to jump to Warner Bros and work on Suicide Squad 2? You’d think that any contracts he signed with Marvel/Disney would have prevented from working with another studio for a little bit. I fully expect the news to come down that he’ll be stepping down as director of Suicide Squad 2 to fully commit back to the Marvel, but if not, Gunn has the best revenge; not only does he get his original job back (that he never should have been fired from in the first place), he also got an additional job too. Way to go trolls.