Report: James Gunn Won’t Return as Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Director

The long spat with Disney, Marvel Studios, and James Gunn is reported to have finally ended.  The director won’t be re-hired for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 as a meeting between himself, his reps, and Disney chairman Alan Horn proved that the swift rule of judgment from the House of Mouse last month wasn’t just a knee-jerk reaction.

Variety reports he won’t be returning as Disney continues to stand its ground. The director was booted from Marvel Studios late last month after old tweets were unearthed and picked up on by the Disney, which owns the popular movie studio. The tweets in question saw the disgraced director joke about rape and pedophilia.

Since the accusations and subsequent dismissal, just moments before he was due to appear at Comic-Con, fans lobbied to have Gunn reinstated once it was pointed out that he had repeatedly acknowledged and apologized for his past actions many times before. The director never attempted to hide the “edgy” tweets of his youth, though he, invariably, had those turned against him by certain figures.

Although Disney was quick to pull the trigger on Gunn’s professional relationship with the company, support from both fans and the Guardians of the Galaxy cast reportedly caused Marvel Studios to attempt to bring Gunn back.

Over the course of the last few weeks, a petition to bring James Gunn back into the Marvel family has reached over 300,000 signatures. Even actor Dave Bautista, who plays Drax the Destroyer across the Marvel Cinematic Universe, continues to voice his support for Gunn on Twitter. Regardless of the fact, Disney isn’t interested in reversing its decision and will presumably now go ahead in trying to find a replacement director for the upcoming sequel.

It still isn’t clear if Gunn’s script will be used going forward or whether Disney or the movie’s next director will attempt to go down a different path. Bautista has said in the past that he’ll attempt to leave the franchise behind if Gunn’s script isn’t used, which might only cause Disney and Marvel Studios more headaches when it comes to the movie’s reported 2020 release date.

We hope it won’t end up with Drax jumping ship, too, but we’ve eyeballed a few worthy successors in case the worst should happen.