It’s no secret that Marvel Studios received a bit of a blow late last month when Disney chairman Alan Horn announced the firing of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, following the resurfacing of a handful of distasteful old tweets. Many of Gunn’s fans, along with his colleagues, were quick to defend the 52-year-old filmmaker and praised him for both his hard work, and for his behavioural changes over the course of the last ten years. Weeks later, film journalists began to speculate that Disney would rehire Gunn, much to the delight of Guardians lovers, but more recent reports have now confirmed that the Mouse House will not be overturning its decision
James Gunn’s removal from the franchise was clearly not something that Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige had been anticipating and he may very well have had a hand in setting up the courtesy meeting between chairman Horn and Gunn that took place roughly two weeks ago. That said, Feige later made it known that he fully supports the decision.
Even though things seem to have ended in a civil manner, it still doesn’t change the fact that Gunn had been working away on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 for quite some time and the movie’s script had been completed. Now, Marvel faces the difficulty of either bringing in a new director to make the film using Gunn’s preexisting ideas and script – which could cause creative problems given that the new director will essentially be making somebody else’s movie – or getting that new director and starting all Guardians 3 planning afresh.
Guardians 3 was scheduled to start production next year with the studio reportedly aiming for a May 2020 release date. Well, with the situation now not being what it was just over a month ago, THR reports that production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been halted with no word on a new timetable as of yet.
It is unclear as to how important that 2020 date is to Marvel, but as a studio that’s known for its extensive future-planning the setback for Guardians 3 is sure to have caused some shifts in the Phase 4 timetable. According to earlier comments from Gunn, Guardians 3 supposedly plays a key role in setting up 10-20 years worth of Marvel films with rumours suggesting that the movie introduces Adam Warlock and sets up The Eternals, among other things.
More on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as it happens.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is yet to receive an official release date