The upcoming release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 marks the end of an era for both director James Gunn, and for many of the cast members who have been working with him since the first film was released in 2014. In 2018, Gunn was fired from Vol. 3 over offensive tweets he wrote over a decade earlier when they resurfaced in the media. Roughly a year later, Gunn was rehired to helm the sequel. Now, in a wide-ranging feature at The Hollywood Reporter, Gunn has shed more light on how the cast rallied around him and helped get him back on the film.
According to the report, Chris Pratt was the one who organized the cast to sign an open letter asking Marvel and Disney to rehire Gunn. The report also mentions that Pratt and Zoe Saldaña personally lobbied Marvel executives Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, and Victoria Alonso to reconsider Gunn’s dismissal. At the same time, Dave Bautista publicly called out Disney on social media for firing his friend, often in colorful ways.
“Dave and Chris are so different in their approaches,” recalled Gunn. “Chris is like, ‘How do we do this methodically and take it one step at a time?’ Dave is like, ‘F*** you.’ “
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Within the report, Feige confirms that Marvel didn’t actively search for Gunn’s replacement because “we couldn’t stomach it.” And when Marvel noted that Gunn’s script would still be used, Pratt took that as a sign that the campaign to reinstate Gunn was working.
“I was like, ‘Oh, so we can use the script written by James Gunn, but we just can’t have him direct?’” asked Pratt. “The script is so good that you’re going to be like, ‘Yeah, we had to get rid of him because we couldn’t associate with that man. But we will make his script.’“
Ultimately, Gunn noted that the decision to rehire him came down to the same man who had fired him: Former Disney chairman Alan Horn. After the decision was made to let Gunn go, Horn reportedly reconsidered because he felt that he had made the wrong call. Horn also stated that Gunn’s subsequent acceptance about his dismissal helped convince him to hire Gunn again.
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“[Gunn] was such a gentleman about it in the ensuing months that we just brought him back,” said Horn. “It felt like the right thing to do. I hold him in absolute high regard… Everything he did subsequently was first class.”
Ironically, Horn and Gunn are once again working together at Warner Bros., where Horn is a consultant to CEO David Zaslav, and Gunn is the co-CEO of DC Studios. And as part of that gig, Gunn is set to write and direct Superman: Legacy for a 2025 release.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters on May 5.
What do you think about the way that the Guardians of the Galaxy cast stood by James Gunn? Let us know in the comment section below!
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