×
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

  • Cinema, auditorium, rows of seatsVARIOUS

    Global Box Office Flat in 2018, Netflix and Subscription Services Rise in Popularity

    The domestic box office rebounded in 2018 in a recovery fueled by blockbusters such as “Black Panther” and “Incredibles 2.” Ticket sales in the U.S. climbed 7% to top out at a record $11.9 billion, according to a new report by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). That helped off-set declines in overseas markets [...]

  • Variety Massive Entertainment Marketing Summit

    Showbiz Marketers Look to Netflix's Data Expertise as They Build Their Own Campaigns

    Netflix’s ability to profit from its secret sauce of granular consumer data has made it the envy of Hollywood. Now, with Disney, Warner Media and others prepping their own ambitious services to challenge the streaming insurgents, entertainment marketers will face more competitive pressures than ever. But at the same time, new marketing tools are emerging [...]

  • Midnight Traveler review

    Film Review: 'Midnight Traveler'

    Refugees rarely get to tell their own stories, which means their stories get told for them — often inaccurately and with undue hostility. Lack of resources is one issue, but a lack of stability is another: Asylum-seekers are in a frightening state of limbo, fleeing the imminent dangers of their native countries only to suffer [...]

  • WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make

    WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make Deals if Agents are Fired

    The Writers Guild of America has authorized managers and lawyers to negotiate deals for writers in place of agents — if the guild tells members to fire their agents on April 7. The guild’s negotiating committee notified members of the plans in a message Wednesday. The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents having made [...]

  • Gone With the Wind Screening

    Film News Roundup: 'Gone With the Wind' Sets Event Cinema Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Gone with the Wind” sets a new record, “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is acquired, and Tracy Oliver signs with Topic Studios. EVENT CINEMA RECORD The 80th anniversary release of “Gone with the Wind” has grossed $2.23 million in six nationwide screenings on four dates — a record as the [...]

  • Made in Abyss - Journey’s Dawn

    Film Review: ‘Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn’

    It’s a Herculean effort to take a multi-volume manga like author Akihito Tsukushi’s “Made in Abyss,” adapt it into a popular anime television series, and then compress the show into a coherent feature (technically, two movies), but the folks at Sentai Filmworks have done just that. Part one, “Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn,” will screen [...]

  • HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market

    HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market Winners

    Eighteen prizes were presented on Wednesday afternoon at the closing ceremony of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. The project market sits alongside FilMart as part of the Entertainment Expo in Hong Kong. “Wong Tai Sin Assassination” to be directed by Wong Hoi and produced by Derek Kwok Tsz-kin, was named the winner of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content