James Gunn ponders getting kicked out of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Next week will mark three years since James Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after some of his controversial social media posts resurfaced in mid-2018. The news of Gunn’s dismissal sent shockwaves throughout Hollywood and prompted dozens of industry leaders to pledge their support. Gunn’s shot has since been reversed. But in a new interview with The New York Times (via The Hollywood Reporter), Gunn shared new insight into how it affected him on a more personal level.
Gunn was first fired from the film after several far-right figures unearthed old tweets he posted between 2008 and 2012. The tweets included out of color jokes on sensitive topics like rape and sex. pedophilia. In a subsequent statement, Gunn admitted that these jokes were in very bad taste. Either way, that wasn’t enough to influence Disney’s top brass at the time. But according to Gunn, that didn’t include Marvel boss Kevin Feige. As Gunn puts it, Feige was just as blinded by the studio’s decision as he was.
“I called Kevin [Feige] the morning it was happening, and I said, “Is that a big deal? “, Gunn recalls. “And he said, ‘I don’t know.’ It was a moment. I was like, ‘Don’t you know?’ I was surprised. Later he called me – he was in shock himself – and told me what the powers that be had decided.
“It was amazing,” Gunn continued. “And for a day it seemed like it was all gone. It was all gone. I was going to have to sell my house. I was never going to be able to work again. This is what I felt.
Whatever, Gunn has been be able to find work. Just three months after Disney severed ties with him, WB hired Gunn to write and direct The suicide squad. And in May 2019, he was rehired as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Gunn’s reinstatement has been met with great enthusiasm by Marvel fans. But despite his year-long roller coaster ride, Gunn doesn’t necessarily think he’s been a victim of “culture cancellation.”
“It’s a much bigger problem than that,” Gunn added. “Because the cancellation of culture is also people like Harvey Weinstein who should be canceled. The people who got canceled and then stay canceled – most of these people deserved it. The paparazzi aren’t just the people on the streets – they’re the people who paint Twitter for all past sins. It all sucks. It’s painful. But part is the responsibility. And this part is good. It’s just a matter of finding that balance.
After The suicide squad hits theaters and HBO Max on August 6, Gunn will have a few months off before moving on to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is currently scheduled to open on May 23, 2023.
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