Last night, a series of incredibly damning tweets made by Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn were uncovered. The tweets made by the acclaimed director were uncovered by prominent members of the right-wing Twitter community who had a bone to pick with Gunn.
After being an outspoken Trump supporter for years, Republican blogger Mike Cernovich went digging into Gunn’s tweets for dirt. Cernovich ended up finding a goldmine of unsavory tweets from James Gunn regarding rape, child pornography, and much more from the mid-2000s.
In the wake of the controversy, Marvel has severed ties with James Gunn, removing him from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and likely sending the movie back to square one. “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,” Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement Friday.
The Guardians of the Galaxy films were a major success for Marvel after being derived from a niche source material. James Gunn’s two films added much-needed life in the superhero genre by taking things to the cosmic realm and adding a touch of 70s/80s sci-fi nostalgia with flashy colors, witty humor, and a killer soundtrack. The films were critically praised and brought in nearly $2 billion on their own.
James Gunn had been writing a third movie following the sequel and according to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel had plans to begin filming it with him in Atlanta this fall and release the picture in the summer of 2020. It’s unclear if Marvel will be scrapping his script completely or if they’ll be making any attempts to save elements of what he created for the sake of fast-tracking the production.
Gunn also served as a heavy collaborator on the Marvel movies as a whole and studio head Kevin Feige said they were going to continue to work with him after he concluded his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. Gunn issued a statement expressing his regrets on Friday afternoon.
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” his statement read. “I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.”
“Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.”
The state of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 remains a mystery at this time but it’s likely Marvel will begin looking for talent to replace Gunn very quickly, maybe even looking to other Marvel directors like Thor: Ragnarok’s Takia Watitti to take his place.
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