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James Gunn Unlikely To Be Hired Back As ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3’ Director Despite Cast Support

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Sources familiar with Disney's plans claim James Gunn is unlikely to be hired back to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 following his ouster over unearthed tweets referencing pedophilia and rape.

Gunn was fired recently after a series of old tweets, in which he makes jokes about taboo subjects such as molestation and rape, surfaced and were widely distributed over social media.

More than a week after Gunn's firing, cast members including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and more insisted that Gunn be reinstated as director.

Cast Members Call For James Gunn To Be Rehired

"We were all shocked by [Gunn's] abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten days to respond in order to think, pray, listen, and discuss," the cast's open letter reads. "In that time, we have been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director of Volume 3 as well as discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding him."

Despite their support, however, it looks like Disney won't change its mind on the matter. In a new report from Variety, Disney's decision is apparently final. Multiple sources close to the company say that Gunn's jokes are "not in line with Disney's family-friendly image," which means a rehire is highly unlikely at this point.

Gunn had directed the first two films.

It's also unlikely for the cast to boycott the next Guardians of the Galaxy film suppose Gunn isn't reinstated. Their letter did not indicate any threats of quitting the franchise, and most of the actors are contractually obligated to appear in future films and would face legal consequences should they quit.

Gunn's tweets, which were nearly a decade old, were lifted from obscurity by alt-right instigators, including blogger Mike Cernovich. His tweets included statements such as, "The best thing about being raped is when you're done being raped and it's like 'whew this feels great, not being raped!'" Other tweets made light of AIDS, the Holocaust, and 9/11.

Disney insiders say the company didn't know about these tweets and was taken aback when they resurfaced.

Potential Directors For 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3'

The company has yet to meet with possible candidates who'll replace Gunn. Rumors say veteran Marvel directors, including Jon Favreau, Taika Waititi, or the Russo brothers, might be tapped to helm, but sources say they're occupied with previous obligations. That means Disney might look beyond Marvel's inner circle to find a director with enough offbeat sensibility to buoy Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 forward, its humor and oddball quality intact.

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