James Gunn will direct the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy 3, despite having previously been removed from the project in the wake of resurfaced old tweets.
That's the word from Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr., who said Friday he has also confirmed the move with reps from Marvel and Gunn. Per the report, the decision was actually made "months ago" after discussions with Disney and Marvel bosses. Specifically, Walt Disney Studios boss Alan Horn is said to have been impressed by Gunn's public apology for the offensive tweets in question, which were resurfaced by a right-wing media personality and Pizzagate promoter last year.
"I deeply appreciate Disney's decision and I am excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all," Gunn wrote in a message on Twitter. You can read his full message below.
The reversal of Gunn's July 2018 Guardians firing will reportedly not delay plans regarding a new Suicide Squad for DC, which he's reportedly set to write and direct. According to Friday's report, the Guardians team won't begin production until Gunn wraps.
Following last year's initial announcement of Gunn's apparently temporary removal, Guardians cast members shared a public letter in support of their collaborator. "There is little due process in the court of public opinion," the letter, shared to Chris Pratt's Instagram, said. "James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial."
The letter also called for Americans to "stop weaponizing mob mentality" and was signed by Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, and more.
Prior to last year's controversy, Guardians 3 was aiming for a 2020 release window. It's unclear how much the subsequent production pause and extended period of directorlessness will affect that goal.