James Gunn has been fired as writer/director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after old, offensive tweets were found. Conservative followers of the director found tweets in which he joked about such topics as pedophelia and rape.
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” said Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn in a statement.
Gunn had written the script already for Marvel Studios‘ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, which was expected to begin shooting this fall for an expected 2020 release. Gunn’s first film in the franchise grossed $773 million worldwide in 2014 and the second film earned $863.8 million last year.
You can read Gunn’s comments from yesterday on the old tweets by checking out the thread in the tweet below.
1. Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
Gunn was scheduled to make an appearance in Hall H today at 6:15 p.m. during the Sony Pictures panel to hype a new, unannounced project. You can see his tweet about the event here. He will no longer be attending the panel, according to reports.
UPDATE #1: James Gunn has released the following statement:
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.
“Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.”
UPDATE #2: Dave Bautista has tweeted about the situation:
I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this..@JamesGunn is one of the most loving,caring,good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) July 21, 2018