Image: Anthony Quintano
James Gunn has been fired as the director of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,THR reports.
The decision came after the filmmaker joked about controversial topics such as rape and pedophilia in response to conservative personalities resurfaced old tweets Thursday. Gunn has criticized President Donald Trump openly.
Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn explained the decision in a statement Friday."The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement Friday."
Here's what Gunn said on Twitter about the tweets that resurfaced: "Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I've developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.
He went on: "It's not to say I'm better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it's shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.
This is shocking for the Marvel community. I'm not sure how Guardians 3 will continue production without him. It's hard to imagine another director helming the film.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was expected to start filming in Atlanta this fall for an expected 2020 release date, but Marvel had never officially announced a specific date. Gunn has been writing the sequel following the success of the first two Guardians films. The first film raked more than $773 million worldwide and Vol. 2 grossed $863 million.