Could Disney Rehire James Gunn

Another day, another detail regarding the uncertain status of director James Gunn and the future of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise that he shepherded to success. And this one at least has some semblance of hope.

There are currently “back channel conversations” happening between Marvel Studios and The Walt Disney Company as the comic book movie studio tries to convince the House of Mouse to hire back James Gunn as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Deadline has word on Marvel attempting to get Disney to rehire James Gunn, and it involves some kind of compromise. As for what that compromise might be, that remains unclear, but apparently the discussion came together in the wake of Guardians of the Galaxy cast members showing their support for the filmmaker. Perhaps yesterday’s news of other studios around Hollywood courting James Gunn for jobs if he should end up really being let go from the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise also had a hand in making these discussions happen.

So could Disney rehire James Gunn? It’s certainly a tricky situation for a company whose bread and butter is family friendly content. Obviously, James Gunn’s jokes from Twitter that prompted his firing were reprehensible and inappropriate. But Disney’s knee-jerk reaction to their reemergence, despite the fact that James Gunn apologized for his provocateur antics back in 2012, remains ill-advised and sets a dangerous precedent.

Franchise star Dave Bautista has gone so far as to express a desire to ask for a release from his contract if James Gunn isn’t brought back for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. But are concerns like that and a push from Marvel Studios enough to convince a giant corporation like Disney to second guess their official decision from a few weeks ago?

The fact is that James Gunn made a mistake years ago. Some of the jokes in question were a decade old. But it was at a time in his career when he was aiming for provocative shock humor. He didn’t hurt anybody, he wasn’t involved in sexual misconduct, and he certainly doesn’t partake in any of the despicable acts he inappropriately joked about all those years ago. And if the rest of Hollywood is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, then Disney should reconsider. We’ll have to wait and see what they decide. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for good news.

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