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James Gunn breaks silence over firing from Guardians of the Galaxy 3

'Disney totally had the right to fire me. This wasn’t a free speech issue'

Jack Shepherd
Thursday 16 May 2019 09:53 BST
James Gunn at the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere
James Gunn at the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere (Getty)

James Gunn has spoken about being fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 for the first time.

The director, who helmed the first two instalments in the franchise, was removed from the project by Disney after decade-old tweets – in which Gunn joked about pedophilia and rape – resurfaced online.

Soon after the firing, Gunn was hired to direct a sequel to Suicide Squad, which will begin filming. A few months after that and Disney decided to re-hire Gunn for Guardians 3. Both films are currently in production, with The Suicide Squad coming first.

Speaking to Deadline, Gunn finally addressed the controversy surrounding his firing and subsequent re-hiring.

“I don’t blame anyone,” he said. ”I feel and have felt bad for a while about some of the ways I spoke publicly; some of the jokes I made, some of the targets of my humour, just the unintentional consequences of not being more compassionate in what I’m putting out there.

“I know that people have been hurt by things that I’ve said, and that’s still my responsibility, that I wasn’t as compassionate as I should be in what I say. I feel bad for that and take full responsibility.

“Disney totally had the right to fire me. This wasn’t a free speech issue. I said something they didn’t like and they completely had the right to fire me. There was never any argument of that.”

Of writing the Suicide Squad sequel, Gunn said: “The Suicide Squad, it just instantly started flowing. I don’t think I’ve had as much fun writing a script since maybe Dawn of the Dead. That’s what this whole movie has been like.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 currently has no release date, though will likely be part of Marvel’s Phase 4. Recently, it was announced that Guardians actor Michael Rooker had joined Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, which will see Margot Robbie, Viola Davis and Viola Davis reprising their roles from the first film. Also joining the cast are Idris Elba, David Dastmalchian and John Cena.

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