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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 March 2019

James Gunn reinstated as 'Guardians of the Galaxy' director after much-publicised firing

The filmmaker had been sacked from the Marvel film last year after controversial tweets were unearthed

James Gunn will return to the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' franchise, seven months after being fired. AP
James Gunn will return to the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' franchise, seven months after being fired. AP

More than six months after he was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn has been reinstated as the director of the third installment of the Marvel film series.

The filmmaker, who was sacked by Disney last July after offensive, decade-old tweets were resurfaced, will rejoin the franchise, he confirmed on social media on Friday.

“I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be," the 51-year-old, who was behind the first and second Guardians films, wrote on Twitter.

"I deeply appreciate Disney's decision and I am excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all. I have been, and continue to be incredibly humbled by your love and support."

Gunn, who had already penned the script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, had joked about issues such as sexual abuse in the unearthed tweets that saw him removed from the film.

A handout movie still of Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy showing L to R: Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel), Rocket Racoon (Voiced by Bradley Cooper), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana). (Courtesy: Marvel)
Chris Pratt, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'. Courtesy Marvel

"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James's Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said at the time.

Gunn's firing resulted in an outpouring of support from the franchise's cast, with stars including Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista urging Disney to reconsider its decision.

Representatives for Walt Disney confirmed to AP on Friday that Gunn had been reinstated as writer-director.

At the time of his sacking, the filmmaker apologised for his social media posts, telling fans his words were "totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative".

"I have regretted them for many years since - not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don't reflect the person I am today or have been for some time," he said in a statement.

Prior to his reinstatement with Disney, Gunn signed on as the writer and director of the next installment of Warner Bros' Suicide Squad, which is part of rival comic-book universe, DC.

Updated: March 16, 2019 12:11 PM

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