Director James Gunn confirmed his rehiring for “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” on his personal Twitter account.
In a remarkable corporate turnaround, Walt Disney Studios has rehired James Gunn to write and direct “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” nearly eight months after he was fired.
Gunn tweeted his own confirmation of the news Friday, saying he is “tremendously grateful for every person who has supported me these past few months.”
The director’s representatives, Maria Herrera and Rachael Reiss, also confirmed his re-hiring to USA TODAY.
Gunn was fired in in July after old, offensive tweets that joked about topics including rape and pedophilia were uncovered and revealed.
The comments, made from 2008 to 2011, were brought to light by far-right propagandists Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec who combed through Gunn’s social media history after Gunn’s criticism of President Donald Trump.
At the Los Angeles opening of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” director James Gunn discusses how “Star Wars” inspired him and why he’s already writing the next installment in the Marvel franchise. (May 5)
Last summer, the director’s firing immediately inspired A-list protests from “Guardians of the Galaxy” stars such as Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and especially Dave Bautista. Bautista, who plays Drax in franchise, repeatedly slammed the decision, calling Gunn “one of the most loving, caring, good natured people I have ever met.”
Gunn apologized immediately after the scandal broke. “My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” he said in a statement. “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.”
He continued to be contrite in his Tweet Friday.
“I am always learning and will continue to work to be the best human being I can be,” Gunn wrote. “I have been, and continue to be, completely humbled by your support.”
According to Deadline, which broke the story, Disney/Marvel execs were moved by Gunn’s contrite handling of the situation, and his re-hiring was being discussed even before rival studio Warner Bros. and DC Comics signed Gunn to write and direct the upcoming “Suicide Squad” sequel.
Marvel has reportedly agreed to wait until Gunn is finished with “Suicide Squad 2” before starting on “Guardians 3.”
Gunn had been politically active on social media and was frequently critical of President Trump. Friday’s news that Gunn had been rehired by Disney brought a retort from Donald Trump Jr.
“I’m sure Media Matters will be all over this given how terrible and voluminous his comments were,” Trump Jr. wrote of Gunn. “Or is there just a very different standard for conservatives???”
Contributing: The Associated Press
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