James Gunn credits the Guardians of the Galaxy cast for saving him and his job after he was fired by Marvel.
James Gunn says the Guardians of the Galaxy cast saved him from being dismissed by Marvel. The director, and Head of DC Studios, detailed the ordeal in a recent interview with Empire. “We went through this journey where we went into the belly of the beast, and I was thrown out,” he said. “The people I gave life to by hiring saved me and brought me back into the fold.”
James Gunn also explained how various Guardians of the Galaxy cast members supported him following his initial dismissal:
“It was hard. But the things I think of from that time are the love I got from my family and friends. I think of how Zoe Saldana and her husband came over to fix me a meal the night after it happened. How Karen Gillan and Pom Klementieeff came over to hang out with me, to be my friend.”
James Gunn also likened their friendship to the “we are Groot” moment at the end of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy film. The director said his friends pulled him “onto the life raft,” and they are now able to finish the story together.
James Gunn was fired from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2018 after a series of offensive jokes he had posted years before remerged on social media. The offending tweets included quips about rape, fetishizing underage boys, and satirical comments about the 9/11 attacks and the Holocaust. Due to the disturbing nature of his words, Disney cut ties.
Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn released a statement confirming that the studio had terminated its contract with James Gunn. “The offensive attitudes and statements are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” Horn said about the Guardians of the Galaxy director via Deadline.
After a widespread outcry from the public and the cast, James Gunn was rehired in 2019. Happy to have his job back, James Gunn told the media he harbored no ill will toward the studio. Instead, the Suicide Squad alum said he took full responsibility for his comments. “Disney had the right to fire me,” he said via Deadline. “This wasn’t a free speech issue. There was never any argument of that.”
Now, James Gunn is preparing to release Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which hits theaters on May 5. The story follows the events of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special as the Guardians plan to turn Knowhere into a home for alien refugees. When their haven is attacked, Peter Quill leads the team on a mission that could result in their disbandment.
Written by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 stars Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, and Sean Gunn as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Drax, Mantis, Nebula, and Kraglin, respectively. Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper also return to voice Groot and Rocket. And Zoe Saldana’s Gamora comes back as a version of herself from an alternate timeline.
Helmed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will introduce fans to a few new allies and enemies. Will Poulter joins the cast as Adam Warlock, a powerful being created to destroy the Guardians. According to James Gunn, his advanced superpowers make him a formidable foe.
James Gunn’s next project is the highly anticipated Superman: Legacy, set for release in 2025. The story will focus on a young version of Clark Kent working as a reporter at the Daily Planet. It will chronicle his journey to reconcile his Kryptonian heritage with his human family in Smallville.