Ousted Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn is massively unlikely to be reinstated for the series’ third instalment despite an impassioned letter from its star-studded cast, Variety reports.
Citing multiple unnamed sources within Disney Studios, the parent company of Marvel Studios, the outlet claims the decision to bin Gunn over his decade-old tweets joking about paedophilia, rape, and AIDS was rubber-stamped by CEO Bob Iger himself.
One source reiterated that Disney “has a different standard” to other major movie studios regarding the kind of distasteful jokes that were unearthed on Gunn’s Twitter page.
The news confirms that an open letter, signed by Guardians stars including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, and Dave Bautista, didn’t budge the needle on the company’s willingness to re-hire the 51-year-old.
The letter said “we’ve been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director,” but it now seems that sentiment doesn’t extend up the chain of command.
As far as a possible replacement goes, Disney is reportedly still having a scope around. Potential fits like Taika Waititi are thought to have already signed on to major projects around the same time Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 is expected to enter production, meaning another up-and-comer may be tapped for the role.
Elsewhere, it appears support for Gunn is flagging in certain other areas of the Marvel universe – if you consider Avengers stars Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans unfollowing Gunn on Instagram to be an implicit message of disdain, that is.