This post has been updated to include a statement from James Gunn.
James Gunn has been rehired by Disney to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The movie has been in limbo ever since the director was fired last year over a series of inappropriate tweets, which he then apologized for.
Gunn's return is completely unexpected considering Disney's stance on the matter last year.
Deadline has the scoop:
The decision to rehire Gunn –he was fired last July by Disney after alt-right journalists made public a fusillade of decade old social media missives that made light of pedophilia and rape — was one that was mulled and actually made months ago, following conversations with Disney studio leadership and the team at Marvel Studios. Why the change of heart? After the firing, Walt Disney Studios president Alan Horn met with Gunn on multiple occasions to discuss the situation. Persuaded by Gunn's public apology and his handling of the situation after, Horn decided to reverse course and reinstate Gunn.
This is huge for Disney and the prospects of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which looked grim following Gunn's firing. For a while, it didn't even look like the movie would get made as Disney dealt with the fallout of Gunn's firing.
With Gunn coming back to the project, it's unclear what this means for the timing of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Shortly after he was fired, Gunn was hired by Warner Bros. to write and direct a sequel to Suicide Squad, which is slated to come out in 2021. Although Gunn had already written a script for Guardians 3, he may be tied up with his obligations on Suicide Squad 2 before production can get started on Marvel's project.
There's currently no release date set for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but the movie just got a huge boost with the director back onboard.
James Gunn released a statement following the news: