×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

James Gunn Fired From ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’

James Gunn has been fired as the director of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” after a series of offensive tweets were unearthed that made light of such controversial topics as pedophelia and rape. Disney, the studio behind the comic-book franchise, made the announcement in the midst of Comic-Con, the geek convention where Gunn is beloved for his horror work in films such as “Slither” and for the irreverent take he applied to the superhero genre in the first “Guardians” and its sequel.

“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 Alan Horn, the studio’s chairman.

Most of the tweets date between 2008 and 2011. In one, Gunn wrote, “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!'” In another, he joked that attending a meeting of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) made him finally feel “…ok being who I am.”

Gunn was contrite on Twitter and sought to explain his remarks, writing, “In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies. For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it.”

Gunn was originally expected to participate at Sony’s Comic-Con panel, tweeting out a tease that he would be in Hall H at the time of the event, although it was unclear what he would be hawking. The panel is supposed to present footage from “Venom” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” neither of which is directed, produced, or written by Gunn. He will no longer be participating, according to an individual with knowledge of the event.

Disney did not announce a replacement for Gunn. The studio has not formally announced “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” or decided on a release date, but Gunn has made no secret of the fact that Disney was interested in backing another installment. The prior two films, which follow a ragtag group of space adventurers, have collectively made over $1.6 billion globally.

This isn’t Gunn’s first digital era controversy. Six years ago, he apologized publicly for a 2011 blog that was criticized as sexist and homophobic. In an entry titled “The 50 Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With,” Gunn speculated that Iron Man could “turn” the lesbian Batwoman into a heterosexual, labeled Gambit a “Cajun fruit,” and called Batgirl, who is a teenage mother in the comics, “easy.” Facing a backlash, Gunn said he regretted making “poorly worded” statements.

RELATED VIDEO:

More Film

  • ‘Gravedigger,’ ‘Zanka Contact,’ ‘Sweet Annoyance’ Win

    ‘The Gravedigger,’ ‘Zanka Contact’ and ‘Sweet Annoyance’ Win Top Prizes at 2nd Atlas Workshops

    Djibouti’s “The Gravedigger,” Morocco’s “Zanka Contact” and Ethiopia’s “Sweet Annoyance” were among the major winners in the post-production and development categories of the second edition of the Marrakech Film Festival’s Atlas Workshops. “The Gravedigger,” by Khadar Ahmed, and “Zanka Contact,” by Ismaël el Iraki, won the top awards – €20,000 ($22,000) and $11,000 respectively – [...]

  • Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and

    Film News Roundup: Leonardo DiCaprio Presenting Robert De Niro SAG Life Achievement Award

    In today’s film news roundup, Leonardo DiCaprio will present Robert De Niro with his SAG Life Achievement Award, the Oliver Sacks documentary finds a home and UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television gets a new dean. AWARD PRESENTATION Leonardo DiCaprio has been selected to present Robert De Niro the SAG Life Achievement Award  at [...]

  • KARNAWAL

    ‘Karnawal,’ ‘Restless,’ ‘Summer White,’ ‘Firsts’ Win Big at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES  — With Ventana Sur now firing on multiple cylinders, featuring pix-in post or project competitions for not only art films but also genre pics and animation – two sectors embraced by young creators in Latin America – “Karnawal,” “Restless,” “Summer White” and  “Firsts” proved big winners among Ventana Sur’s arthouse and animation competitions, [...]

  • (center) George MacKay as Schofield in

    From "1917" to "Jojo Rabbit," Composers of Some of the Year's Top Scores Talk Shop

    “1917,” Thomas Newman The 20-year collaboration of director Sam Mendes and composer Thomas Newman has encompassed midlife crisis (“American Beauty”), crime in the Depression (“Road to Perdition”), the Gulf War (“Jarhead”), marriage in the 1950s (“Revolutionary Road”) and two James Bond adventures (“Skyfall,” “Spectre”). Now they’ve tackled World War I, with “1917,” but Mendes’ much-talked-about [...]

  • Billy Magnussen Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Spinoff With Billy Magnussen's Character in the Works for Disney Plus

    Disney is developing a spinoff of its live-action “Aladdin” with Billy Magnussen reprising his Prince Anders character. The unnamed project is in early development for the studio’s recently launched Disney Plus streaming service. Disney has hired Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme to write a script centered on the haughty Prince Anders, one of Princess Jasmine’s [...]

  • ROAD TRIP – In Disney and

    Disney Boasts a Bevy of Hopefuls for Oscar's Original Song Race

    When the Academy announces its shortlist for song nominations on Dec. 16, you can be certain that at least one Disney song will be on it and probably more. Disney songs have been nominated 33 times in the past 30 years, winning 12 of the gold statuettes. This year, the studio has at least four [...]

  • Innovative Scores Elevated the Year's Documentaries

    Innovative Scores Elevated the Year's Documentaries

    It’s next to impossible for a documentary score to be Oscar-nominated alongside the dozens of fictional narratives entered each year. But it did happen, just once: In 1975, composer Gerald Fried was nominated for his music for “Birds Do It, Bees Do It,” a documentary on the mating habits of animals. Fried, now 91, perhaps [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content