Last week, director James Gunn was fired by Disney, due to several controversial tweets that he had said in the past. Now, a petition has been circulated online in order to rehire Gunn to direct the next installment in the Guardians Of The Galaxy franchise. As of Sunday, the petition had over 100,000 signatures.
From Entertainment Weekly:
Thousands have signed an online petition for the Walt Disney Co. to rehire Guardians of the Galaxy writer and director James Gunn after he was fired from the third film in the series Friday.
Gunn had been targeted for criticism by figures connected to a far-right fringe movement, who began highlighting a series of offensive shock-jokes Gunn made, some more than a decade old, on Twitter and his blog.
Fellow director Joe Carnahan (The Grey, Smokin’ Aces) shared the petition on Twitter, where it had collected more than 5,000 signatures as of Saturday afternoon. By early evening, it had risen to nearly 16,000.
By Sunday morning, the total had climbed to 51,000.
Source: Entertainment Weekly
And just like that, James Gunn’s career is over.
When I first heard of James Gunn being fired by Disney, I decided to read a few of his controversial tweets. I thought his tweets weren’t very funny at all, that they were dumb things to say and that he had a sick sense of humor. I wont discuss their content here, since this is a Disney/family-friendly website, but if you want to read some of Gunn’s very questionable tweets, you can find them here.
At the time, I didn’t think Gunn deserved to be fired over of a couple of tweets. If anything, it showed a very poor judgement on his part. But, then I found out there weren’t a couple of controversial tweets, there were a lot of them. According to the link above, Gunn deleted 10,000 tweets just prior to the news breaking.
It seems like Gunn has a history of going to places in his tweets that he really shouldn’t, especially on social media. Unfortunately for Gunn, it’s hard to sweep some of the things he said under the rug and forget that he ever felt that way. And considering your employer is Disney, it’s almost impossible.
It’s sad because James Gunn really made significant contributions to the MCU. The idea of making a movie about Guardians Of The Galaxy was dumb founded. I felt back then that Disney was scraping the bottom of the barrel because they did not have the movie rights to Spider-Man, X-Men and The Fantastic Four. But James Gunn tackled the project and he was more than successful. Gunn was responsible for the choosing the cast and he made stars out of Chris Pratt, who previously was known for his role on Parks And Recreation, and Dave Bautista, who was mostly known for being a WWE wrestler. Gunn also decided to go with the idea of using classic musical hits from the 70’s for the soundtrack of the movie. And on top of that, he wrote the screenplay and directed the movie. With the success of Guardians at the box office, it made Disney and Marvel open to taking more risks, which opened the door for movies like Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther.
With all of that being said, Disney did the right thing by firing James Gunn. But I also question, where was Disney and Marvel’s due diligence when hiring Gunn to begin with? I’m not sure if Marvel and Disney will go forward with a Guardians 3, or even if they should. It’s just unfortunate for the fans of Guardians that it had to end like this.
Editor’s Note: This article contains the opinions of the author, Joe Hogarty. These opinions may or may not align with those of WDWNT LLC, Tom Corless, or anyone else on this planet. Please feel free to voice your own thoughts in the comments section below.