Marvel Still Using James Gunn’s ‘Guardians 3’ Script as Other Major Studios Line Up to Hire Him
Earlier today, a rumor began circulating about Marvel’s plans to toss out James Gunn’s script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The filmmaker was in the midst of writing the screenplay when he was recently fired for a series of old, offensive tweets, which were published to his personal Twitter account before he ever made the first Guardians film. But according to a new report, not only is Marvel still using Gunn’s screenplay for Guardians 3, they might not be entirely done with the director after all.
There’s a lot to take in from THR’s report on the current state of affairs RE: Disney and James Gunn. First of all, Marvel still plans on utilizing Gunn’s screenplay for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 despite his firing. That’s not exactly an ideal outcome for those hoping that Disney would reinstate Gunn — especially after an online petition to do so passed its goal with over 300,00 signatures, and the Guardians cast signed an open letter pleading with Disney to reconsider. But keeping Gunn’s script, which is set to conclude the trilogy he wrote and directed while also laying the groundwork for the next decade or so of Marvel films, also means that Marvel will likely keep Dave Bautista; in an interview this week, the actor threatened to leave the MCU if Marvel tossed out Gunn’s script.
THR notes that Gunn’s exit negotiations with Disney are still ongoing. The filmmaker’s offensive tweets did not breach his contract with the family-friendly studio since the public comments were made before he ever entered into an agreement to direct the first Guardians. Sources tell THR that because “An end-all verdict hasn’t been issued and conversations with Marvel are still ongoing,” there’s still a possibility that Marvel might not part ways with Gunn, and that if he isn’t rehired for Guardians 3, he might return to develop and / or direct another movie for the MCU.
Meanwhile, as expected, other major studios are reportedly anxious to work with Gunn, though he won’t be available to take on another project until his exit talks with Marvel are complete. Those studios include Warner Bros., which recently set IT and The Conjuring producer Walter Hamada as the head of DC Films in an effort to course-correct the superhero franchise. (It would be something of a baller move if James Gunn switched teams from Marvel to DC, though it seems unlikely for a number of reasons — not the least of which is that, baller or not, it’s also kind of a jerk move.)
But perhaps the most optimistic thing to come from THR’s report is this comment, from an unnamed studio executive:
“Most people feel his comments were coming out of his brand of comedy [at the time he made them],” says another studio exec. “Having an inappropriate sense of humor shouldn’t be a crime.”
I mean, they’re not wrong.