James Gunn is back as the director of Guardians of The Galaxy 3, some eight months after he was originally sacked by Marvel.
The filmmaker was dropped as the director of the Marvel movie in July 2018 after his old tweets, which made light of paedophilia and rape, were resurfaced by conservative personalities online. The director apologised for his jokes, saying: “My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative.”
But while the names of directors such as Taika Waititi and Adam McKay were bandied about as potential replacements, Deadline reports that Disney didn’t actively search for a replacement director in the time that Gunn spent away from the project.
Waititi poked fun at Gunn’s return on Friday, joking that he believed that he would be hired for the job. McKay, meanwhile, claimed to have held discussions with Marvel boss Kevin Feige in late 2018.
The Deadline reports also states that the decision to bring back Gunn was made several months ago, after he convinced Disney boss Alan Horn that he should return.
“I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months,” Gunn wrote on Friday.
“I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be. I deeply appreciate Disney’s decision and I am excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all.”
At the time of Gunn’s firing in 2018, the Guardians cast penned an open letter in July 2018 calling for Gunn’s reinstatement. In an Instagram post with a copy of the letter, Chris Pratt commented: “Although I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man.”