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Marvel staging last-ditch effort to get James Gunn back on Guardians 3, says report

According to a new report, Marvel is attempting an eleventh hour effort to get Disney to rehire director James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.

Avengers Infinity War Updated: Aug 10, 2018 14:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Marvel,James Gunn,Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
Chris Pratt as Star Lord in a still from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Marvel Studios is attempting a last-ditch effort to convince Disney to reinstate James Gunn as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. According to a report on Deadline, Marvel isn’t trying to strong-arm Disney, but is looking for an amicable resolution to the fiasco.

Gunn was abruptly fired off Guardians 3 when old tweets of his were unearthed by a conservative commentator. Gunn apologised for the offensive nature of the tweets - he’d joked about rape and paedophilia in them - and accepted that it made sense for Disney to let him go, considering the bad press he’d attracted.

But Disney’s move was met with near unanimous resistance. A fan-led petition to get the Mouse House to rehire Gunn has amassed hundreds of thousands of signatures, and the central cast of the Guardians movies issued a signed statement pledging their allegiance to Gunn.

This combination photo shows Guardians of the Galaxy actors, from left, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, who, along with six other main cast members, have issued an open letter in support of ousted director James Gunn. (AP)

“We were all shocked by (Gunn’s) abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten days to respond in order to think, pray, listen, and discuss,” the letter, signed Guardians of the Galaxy, reads. “In that time, we have been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director of Volume 3 as well as discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding him.

The Deadline report comes only a few days after Variety reported that Disney will not rehire Gunn and is in no hurry to hire a replacement. The studio still intends on using his script for the film, a condition that actor Dave Bautista has said would have to be met, otherwise he would quit the franchise and suffer the legal consequences. Bautista has also said that working for Disney without Gunn is ‘nauseating’.

Variety earlier reported that Disney isn’t worried about the cast quitting because they’re all locked down under airtight contracts. Star Chris Pratt’s upcoming film, Cowboy Ninja Viking, was partly delayed because of his Marvel commitments.

Gunn is considered to having been instrumental to the series’ success. The Guardians films have made a combined $1.6 billion worldwide, and were initially considered a box office gamble. Another Variety report said that numerous rival studios are chomping at the bits to get him on board one of their movies, but can’t make an official offer until the Marvel issue is resolved.

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First Published: Aug 10, 2018 14:51 IST