Disney announced Gunn’s firing in July 2018 after after years-old insensitive tweets were resurfaced by conservative personalities, including jokes about rape and pedophilia. The director, who helmed and wrote the first two movies, was reinstated by Disney in March.
Pratt, who got together with Guardians cast and released a statement calling for Gunn, 52, to be re-hired, told PEOPLE at the Avengers: Endgame premiere on Monday that he is “thrilled” to have Gunn back at the helm.
“I was so thrilled, so excited. I think it’s the right move, I really stand behind it,” Pratt, 39, said. “I’m really proud of Disney for hiring James back and ultimately thrilled for not only us, but also for the fans. I think it’s going to wrap up the trilogy in the best way.”
He continued, “And Guardians of the Galaxy are really all about second chances and giving people an opportunity to be their best. We’re a ragtag squad of people coming together and having each other’s back. I think it really worked out the way it was supposed to, and I feel good about it.”
The director, who had since signed on to write the Suicide Squad sequel after his firing, apologized after the tweets were surfaced, explaining that he has since grown as a person and in his work. Gunn said that it used to be part of his act to tweet things that would outrage people.
“In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people,” Gunn wrote is a series of tweets. “I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies. Anyway, that’s the completely honest truth: I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all.”
Gunn was set to start filming the third installment in fall 2018 and had been working on the script. He wrote and directed the first two movies, which have made more than $1.6 billion worldwide.
Avengers: Endgame, the next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where some Guardians characters are featured, hits theaters April 26.