×

James Gunn Returns to Direct ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’

After a series of meetings with Walt Disney Pictures honcho Alan Horn, fired director James Gunn will return to the Marvel fold.

Gunn has been re-hired to direct the third installment in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, the Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana series about misfits who protect outer-space, an individual familiar with the project told Variety.

Gunn was fired last July following the resurfacing of offensive tweets that made light of child sex abuse. The director apologized for the sentiments, which were bubbled up by conservative talking head Mike Cernovich, but was swiftly chopped by family-friendly Disney over the graphic and immature nature of his comments.

The studio had never replaced him with any other director on the project, another insider added. Leadership is said to be satisfied with his contrition. Gunn will also write the screenplay for the third installment, which is undated but slated for 2020. Aside from the notable reversal of a swift decision, Gunn’s rehire presents a conflict of superhero proportions — he’s currently in talks to write and direct a sequel of “Suicide Squad,” the DC Comics villain franchise.

Walt Disney Pictures and reps for Gunn had no immediate comment, but Gunn tweeted a statement, saying “I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be.”

The two prior “Guardians” films, released in 2014 and 2017, were strong performers for Disney and Marvel, hauling a combined $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office. In addition to directing, Gunn teamed with Nicole Perlman on the script for the first, which was nominated for a Writers Guild Award, and was the only credited writer on the second. Both movies raised Gunn’s stock as they underlined his ability to make popcorn movies with multiple characters.

Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.

More Film

  • Mickey Mouse waves to members of

    Spider-Man, Spicer and Splashy First-Looks: Everything We're Looking For at D23

    As if Disney hasn’t owned enough weekends this year at the box office, the biennial D23 Expo will light up Anaheim, Calif. over the next three days to celebrate the content monolith. From a new Netflix-competing streaming platform to scores of movie and series reveals — along with a few hot controversies to confront — [...]

  • Angel Has Fallen

    'Angel Has Fallen' to Dominate Modest Box Office With $20 Million Weekend

    Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman are leading the way at the North American box office with “Angel Has Fallen” on its way to about $20 million, early estimates showed Friday. Should forecasts hold, “Angel Has Fallen” will take in about double the next title, Universal’s second weekend of raunchy comedy “Good Boys” with about $10 [...]

  • Aracne

    Sanfic Standout ‘Aracne’ Filmmakers Discuss the State of Chilean Genre

    A key project at this year’s Santiago Lab, the Santiago Intl. Film Festival industry forum for promising Latin American projects, Florencia Dupont’s “Aracne” is representative of a push from the next generation of Chilean filmmakers into genre cinema and the themes it can explore. “Aracne” turns on Beatriz, a young journalist at a small Santiago [...]

  • Eduardo Machuca

    Chile’s Eduardo Machuca Unveils Machuca Films Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    SANTIAGO, Chile – Eduardo Machuca, the former film co-ordinator of Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has launched his own production company, Machuca Films. “After 25 years at the ministry, I felt I needed to tap my creative side,” said Machuca, who is also tying the knot on Saturday (Aug. 24) with a former Sanfic staffer, [...]

  • Robert Downey Jr. Disney Legends Ceremony,

    Robert Downey Jr. Reveals He Was Busted for Smoking Pot at Disneyland

    Robert Downey Jr. celebrated his Disney Legend status by sharing the endearing tale of how the first time he visited Disneyland, he was arrested. The Iron Man actor was being honored in Anaheim at Disney’s biennial D23 convention. After a brief introduction by Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger, Downey felt he had to come [...]

  • Thandie Newton Reminiscence

    Thandie Newton Reteams With 'Westworld's' Lisa Joy on 'Reminiscence' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Following her Emmy win for her performance on “Westworld,” Thandie Newton is joining the feature directorial debut of the show’s co-creator. Sources tell Variety that Newton is set to join Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson in Warner Bros.’ “Reminiscence,” directed by “Westworld’s” Lisa Joy. WB acquired the rights to the package after this year’s Berlin [...]

  • Ming-Na Wen poses at the Disney

    Original 'Mulan' Star Ming-Na Wen Weighs in on Remake's Controversy

    Ming-Na Wen, who played the leading voice role in the original 1998 version of “Mulan,” has spoken out about the recent controversy surrounding Disney’s forthcoming live-action remake, which has been co-opted by China’s authoritarian regime to attack Hong Kong protestors. “We are living in a world right now where there’s so much change and confusion [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content