James Gunn previously teased that Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 would happen sometime after Avengers 4 and help “set up the next 10, 20 years of Marvel movies.” But that was then, and this is now. Since Disney fired Gunn from his post at Marvel, thereby dropping him as director of the third installment in a planned trilogy, production on the film has been put on hold, EW has learned.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report the news. The trade cites sources who say crew members are now free to look for other work, as well as another who claims the hold is “temporary.”
Gunn already wrote a draft of the script for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 when Disney announced the company “severed our business relationship” over decade-old tweets from Gunn joking about rape, pedophilia, and other inappropriate material. These “totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” as Gunn called them, were unearthed by alt-right conservatives in response to the filmmaker’s outspoken political beliefs online.
Gunn said, in part, through an apology, “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.”
Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, and Sean Gunn all signed an open letter on the matter in support of Gunn and their director’s reinstatement. However, reports surfaced that Disney would not reconsider its decision and would instead look to hire another director to take over.
Bautista, who’s been more verbal on the matter than some of his other costars, continues to call out Disney for the decision. Earlier this week, the actor behind Drax the Destroyer simultaneously slammed the Mouse House and called out Mike Cernovich, one of the alt-right personalities who fueled the smear campaign against Gunn. Cernovich is seen making unsettling comments in clips Bautista shared online.
“Hey @Disney ! Here’s your guy!!” the actor tweeted. “What an inspiration to humanity!”
Earlier, Bautista said he would still return for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, what he’s “legally obligated to do,” but called it “pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists.”