James Gunn and Alan Horn, Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, met face to face just under a month since the filmmaker was fired by the studio, and it turns out Gunn will not be returning to work for Disney. According to an exclusive report from Variety, Disney is remaining committed to Gunn’s firing. The “Guardians of the Galaxy” director will not return for the franchise’s third installment after Disney severed ties with him over controversial jokes he made on Twitter about rape, pedophilia, etc.
In the weeks since Gunn was fired there has been a groundswell of support for the director. Gunn’s “Guardians” cast members published an open letter on July 30 expressing their full support of Gunn and the many fans urging Disney to rehire the director on the next “Guardians” sequel. Dave Bautista, who plays Drax the Destroyer, has been most critical of Disney. The actor said it was “nauseating” to have to return to work for Disney after Gunn’s firing, and he said he would ask to be released from his contract should Disney trash Gunn’s “Vol. 3” script.
Despite the “Guardians” cast wanting Gunn back, and Marvel reportedly trying to negotiate the director’s return to the franchise, Disney is not budging and Gunn will remain fired from the project. Production on the next “Guardians” was set for the start of 2019. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige was out of town and did not attend the meeting between Gunn and Horn. Feige will begin looking for replacement directors when he returns to Los Angeles.
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According to Variety, Horn wanted to meet with Gunn in order to clear the air about the situation. Gunn and his representatives at UTA tried their best to get Horn to consider giving the director a second chance. The meeting between the two gentlemen was described as “civil and professional.” The studio is expected to keep Gunn’s script, although whoever steps in to direct will probably give it a rewrite polish.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is currently scheduled for a 2020 release. The date could be pushed back depending on how long the director search lasts. IndieWire has reached out to Disney for further comment.