James Gunn may have been fired by Disney from directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but it doesn’t look like his career is going to miss a beat. According to a new report, several major studios, including Warner Bros., are eager to meet with Gunn and get him on board to direct a major project. For the time being, they have to wait until his separation from Disney is 100 percent finalized, as there are some issues being worked out on that end. But once that’s done, Gunn will probably be lousy with opportunities outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The report reveals that several executives at major studios, who chose not to be named in the article, are eager to get in the James Gunn movie making business. “I’d work with him in a heartbeat,” said one unnamed executive. Warner Bros. would be possibly the most tantalizing option, as they control the DC universe, the most obvious rival to Marvel. Bringing on Gunn to direct something like Green Lantern Corps. or Lobo, for example, could serve as a major win for the DC universe and something of a middle finger to Disney.
Disney canned James Gunn after a collection of old tweets, some from as far back as a decade ago, were dug up by conservative bloggers and began making the rounds online. The offensive nature of those tweets, which were intended as humor but made light of topics such as 9/11 and child rape, caused Disney to remove him as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 promptly. In the wake of his firing, the entire Guardians cast has come out in support of the filmmaker. Dave Bautista has even threatened to quit if the studio doesn’t use Gunn’s already completed script. Other studios seem to feel that, even though the tweets were abhorrent, it doesn’t make Gunn someone they can’t work with. One executive had this to say.
“Most people feel his comments were coming out of his brand of comedy [at the time he made theme]. Having an inappropriate sense of humor shouldn’t be a crime.”
Things are going to get tricky moving forward. Disney and James Gunn are reportedly still ironing out his exit. Since he didn’t actually violate the terms of his contract, he could be getting a payday of $10 million or more. “I’ve been advised that we can’t bring anything to him until the Disney matter is 100 percent resolved,” said one executive. It’s also being reported that Disney does indeed want his script. What’s even more shocking is that two different sources say the studio may even want Gunn to return in some way or another, possibly to develop another Marvel movie. So, even though it looks like he won’t be re-hired for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, his future within the MCU may not be over.
However this all ends up panning out, one thing is clear; James Gunn is still going to have a career. The man is an undeniable talent and turned a virtually unknown Marvel Comics title into one of the biggest movie franchises on the planet. Even if Disney never works with him again, other studios will be eager to lock the filmmaker down for another project. This news comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.