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Last year it was announced that Disney had fired James Gunn from directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and now they’ve recently reinstated him to helm the project just a few months ago. While this is good news for fans, it was an emotional roller coaster for Gunn himself.
In a recent interview with Deadline, Gunn opens up about how it felt to be fired and brought back to work on his pet project. He explains:
“I don’t blame anyone… I feel and have felt bad for a while about some of the ways I spoke publicly; some of the jokes I made, some of the targets of my humor, just the unintentional consequences of not being more compassionate in what I’m putting out there. I know that people have been hurt by things that I’ve said, and that’s still my responsibility, that I wasn’t as compassionate as I should be in what I say. I feel bad for that and take full responsibility. Disney totally had the right to fire me. This wasn’t a free speech issue. I said something they didn’t like and they completely had the right to fire me. There was never any argument of that.”
Of course, there was a lot of backlash right after Gunn was fired, and a lot of criticism went to Disney for supposedly falling for a deliberate smear campaign on Gunn by the alt-right. DC was quick to hire Gunn for The Suicide Squad which he’s currently working on. He says:
“The studios, for the most part, said, ‘We’d love to have you.’ They called within the first two days. But I didn’t believe it. That’s the thing that I have to be honest about. On some theoretical level, I was like, ‘Well, maybe I do have a future.’
As for Guardians though, Gunn is said to be looking most forward to finishing the arc of Rocket Raccoon, who he admits is based on himself. Gunn goes on to say:
“When you asked me what was saddest for me when I thought it was gone – and anybody at Marvel can tell you – it’s this very strange and attached relationship to Rocket. Rocket is me, he really is, even if that sounds narcissistic. Groot is like my dog. I love Groot in a completely different way. I relate to Rocket and I feel compassion for Rocket, but I also feel like his story has not been completed. He has an arc that started in the first movie, continued into the second and goes through Infinity War and Endgame, and then I was set to really finish that arc in Guardians 3. That was a big loss to me – not being able to finish that story – though I was comforted by the fact that they were still planning to use my script.”
For now, Gunn is going to be quite busy. After finishing work on The Suicide Squad, he’s set to start production for Marvel’s Guardians 3 next year. While I’m all happy that he’s back and working on both projects, I’m just hoping he gets enough time to rest so that he won’t be stressed out come production for GOTG.
No release date has been set for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but you can catch Gunn’s The Suicide Squad when it hits theaters Aug. 6, 2021.