UPDATE: James Gunn has finally released a statement on his firing.
My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. 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.
In what might be the biggest blow to the MCU yet, James Gunn has been removed as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. This decision comes right a controversy surrounding deleted tweets by the director that jokingly and disgustingly touched on pedophilia and rape. Gunn has since deleted his account. Walt Disney chairman Alan Horn had this to say on the firing of Gunn:
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.
The entirety of the Guardians franchise was solely Gunn’s vision. Guardians was the only MCU franchise whose DNA and essence were distilled purely from Gunn’s own voice. Now out of the picture, there’s no telling where the third film will end up or if the film will continue production on schedule. We have yet to hear from Gunn’s immediate superiors at Marvel Studios so stay tuned here.