James Gunn may have the support of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 cast, but it appears their open letter has not shifted Disney’s opinion on the matter. Disney is reportedly unlikely to rehire the director after firing him last month, despite the cast’s calls for Gunn to be reinstated.
According to Variety‘s sources, both Disney and Marvel believe that Gunn’s vile tweets from years ago remain too serious of an offense for him to be welcomed back to the Disney brand. The Guardians cast did not threaten any sort of boycott, so Disney isn’t worried on that front. Disney also has contracts in place to help ensure the actors’ participation.
Disney and Marvel do not feel rushed to find a replacement for Gunn, as they never formally announced a release date for the film. It was widely believed that the film was (and perhaps still is) set for a May 1, 2020 release date, but there has been no official commitment to that date.
Marvel Studios has other projects in development that could be moved up on the release calendar, like Black Widow, The Eternals, or maybe a Doctor Strange sequel. Point being, the studio has options.
Generally, the news that Disney is unlikely to reverse their previous decision is not surprising. It is a little odd, however, given that just two days ago, Variety also reported sources were telling them that support for Gunn’s reinstatement was growing within Disney and that the matter could be discussed when CEO Bob Iger returns from vacation.
It’s hard to know what is true at this point, but certainly any optimism fans have had about James Gunn’s potential return has surely taken a hit today.