Last year, Guardians of the Galaxy writer and director James Gunn was ousted from the upcoming third film in the series after lewd and offensive jokes from a decade prior were discovered on his Twitter feed. Disney initially stood by their decision, even as the cast and fanbase themselves stood behind Gunn. Now, according to a report from Deadline, Gunn has been reinstated as Disney has reversed their decision after nine months of saying they will not.
The Deadline report states that the decision to reinstate Gunn was made several months ago, when Disney chairman Alan Horn began meeting with Gunn several times to discuss his public apologies. Horn was convinced by Gunn’s statements that the tweets represented an edgy younger self that he had long since moved past and the fact that Gunn only ever blamed himself and not Disney likely helped his perception with the higher-ups.
It likely helped that no serious director was willing to take Gunn’s place and betray their colleague, with people like Thor Ragnarok director Taika Waititi publicly declining consideration.
Gunn has also signed on to direct the new Suicide Squad movie, which reportedly trades in Will Smith for Idris Elba, and complicates the production schedule for Guardians. According to Deadline, however, Gunn has agreed to begin work on Vol. 3 as soon as Suicide Squad wraps.