Despite the efforts of Chris Pratt and the cast of “Guardians Of The Galaxy”, Disney will not reinstate James Gunn as director of the franchise’s third film.
Following what’s been described as a “courtesy” meeting with Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn and the director, the studio is staying firm on its decision to fire Gunn after a series of old tweets, including ones that saw him joke about rape and pedophilia, re-emerged online.
Variety reports the meeting between Horn and Gunn was “civil” and to clear the air surrounding his firing. Marvel President Kevin Feige was rumoured to be fighting for Gunn to return, but insiders now report he is supportive of Disney’s decision, though he did not attend the meeting.
A small pre-production crew in Atlanta, Georgia has now officially been dismissed as Disney searches for a new director, Deadline confirms. The crew was left-over from when Gunn was still involved with the project.
The news comes after Pratt shared an open letter from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” cast last month, in which the team called for the reinstatement of the fired director.
Pratt said in the caption that although he didn’t agree with the “inappropriate jokes” from years ago, Gunn was still a good man and deserved to be a part of “Guardians of the Galaxy 3”.
The actor had urged fans to sign the Change.org petition, which has so far reached over 380,000 out of a hopeful 500,000 signatures.
The open letter, which was also signed by Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, and Pom Klementieff, began: “We fully support James Gunn. We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten days to respond in order to think, pray, listen, and discuss.
“In that time we have been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director of Volume 3 as well as discouraged by those who so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories around him.”
The stars also touched on the political division in the U.S. after the tweets in question were leaked by conservative personalities.
Gunn was in the process of writing the script for the third “Guardians” installment when he was axed, with production expected to begin in Atlanta in early 2019 with a targeted 2020 release date.