James Gunn has been reinstated as director for Guardians of the Galaxy 3
James Gunn is back for Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
The director, who helmed and wrote the first two movies, has been reinstated by Disney for the third outing in the series following his initial firing in July 2018. Deadline was first to report the news.
Gunn, 52, was fired after years old insensitive tweets were resurfaced by conservative personalities, including jokes about rape and pedophilia.
Gunn released a statement on Twitter after news broke thanking fans and friends for the support.
“I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months. I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be,” Gunn wrote. “I deeply appreciate Disney’s decision and I am excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bid us all. I have been, and continue to be incredibly humbled by your love and support. From the bottom of my hear, thank you. Love to you all.”
The director, who had since signed on to write (and possibly direct) 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.”
WATCH: James Gunn Dropped from Guardians of the Galaxy Films Over Unearthed Tweets
After his firing, the Guardians of the Galaxy cast rallied around Gunn in an open letter where they publicly called for him to be reinstated.
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldan, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff and Michael Rooker all signed the statement, which was posted to their social media pages.
“We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten days to respond in order to think, pray, listen, and discuss,” the letter began. “Being in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies has been a great honor in each of our lives. We cannot let this moment pass without expressing our love, support and gratitude for James. We are not here to defend his jokes of many years ago but rather to share our experience having spent many years together on set making Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2.”
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.