Prior to the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 next month, a number of big-name names behind it – including director James Gunn, star Chris Pratt and Marvel’s Kevin Feige – revealed when Gunn was fired from the project in a new THR cover.
In a shocking move in 2018, Gunn was dropped from the show due to offensive tweets from 2008 and 2009 that resurfaced and were widely circulated by conservative social media figures. It was a call made by then-Disney president Alan Horn, but later overruled after significant pushback from Guardians fans and cast.
Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito called Pratt to tell him that Gunn had been fired, to which Pratt said he replied “Jesus fucking Christ, don’t.” Pom Klementieff, meanwhile, immediately burst into tears and cut short her visit to San Diego Comic-Con, where she was promoting Avengers: Infinity War.
“My feet weren’t on the ground at the time,” Gunn said of the time after being fired. “It really made me say, ‘What matters to me? Adulation and money? Is this really what matters to me? ”
According to THR’s story, however, he remained close with Feige, who worked to continue using the script Gunn wrote for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Feige said they never explored a replacement manager: “We couldn’t take it.”
“I was like, ‘Oh, so we can use the script that James Gunn wrote, but we just can’t direct it?’ “, said Pratt. “The script is so good that you’re going to be like, ‘Yeah, we had to get rid of him because we couldn’t partner with this man. But we’ll do his script.'”
Horn eventually had a change of heart, bringing Gunn back (not before, of course, Gunn had already signed on to lead DC’s Suicide Squad).
“It’s one hundred percent because Alan Horn felt ill. He did it because he thought it was the right thing to do,” Gunn said of the executive who rehired him as manager.
Gunn’s new role
Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will likely be the last Marvel will see Gunn – or, at the very least, his last project at the studio in a very long time. Last year, it was announced that Gunn was co-CEO of DC Studios alongside Peter Safran, and the two announced their new roadmap for DC earlier this year. Among the many projects announced, Gunn writes and personally directs at least one of them: Superman: Legacy, which is scheduled for release on July 11, 2025.
That doesn’t mean he’s not protecting his adorable group of misfits at Marvel, though. In THR’s story, Gunn also revealed that he wasn’t thrilled with some of the decisions made regarding Pratt’s Star-Lord in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.
“They did things that I wouldn’t have wanted,” Gunn said, adding that he believes Star-Lord would have made the decision to kill Gamora at his request, but would not have made the rash decision to strike. . Thanos while Mantis overpowered him.
“I can’t imagine playing Mantis with someone else writing the words,” Klementieff told THR, and Gunn added that she and Pratt contacted him for recordings while filming The Avengers.
For more on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, check out Zoe Saldana’s comments on why she might be done with Gamora, but there might be even more Guardians in the MCU to come.
Thumbnail Credit: Karwai Tang/Getty Images
Alex Stedman is senior editor at IGN, overseeing entertainment reporting. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons and Dragons.