It looks like Kevin Feige has no plans of backing James Gunn to be reinstated as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
The Marvel Studios president has previously expressed his support for the filmmaker after Gunn was fired from the sequel. Gunn was removed from the third installment of the Marvel film series after old tweets about pedophilia and rape resurfaced last month. Although Feige appeared to be pushing for Gunn's reinstatement, a new report from Variety paints a different story.
According to the report, Gunn had met with Disney studio chairman Alan Horn, who accepted the meeting "as a courtesy to clear the air" with the filmmaker. Unfortunately, Horn stood his ground and refused the director's reinstatement.
Feige was expected to join Gunn and Horn but was reportedly "out of town and unable to attend" the meeting. Nevertheless, the report states that the Marvel president "stands by the studio's decision."
So what happened to Feige's previous statement that he is supporting Gunn? There is a possibility that Feige changed his mind despite the support of Gunn's friends and fans. Feige and Horn are reportedly still looking for a replacement director who could helm Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Disney and Marvel declined to comment on Horn's meeting with Gunn.
Although Gunn will not be returning to direct the sequel, the script he has already penned for Vol. 3 will still be used. The new director would probably need to make some tweaks to the screenplay that would be approved by Disney and Marvel.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is expected to premiere in 2019. However, Gunn's firing could move the release date to 2020.