While a film franchise such as Guardians of the Galaxy involves hundreds of decision makers, including screenwriters, actors, editors, and producers, it’s not out of line to say that this one has been director James Gunn’s vision and product most of all. Moving forward, that vision is going to change as, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Gunn has been fired from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 following the reveal of old, offensive tweets the director made.

Gunn has been no stranger to courting controversy on Twitter and has been a vocal opponent of President Trump over the last few years. However, conservative personalities such as Jack Posobiec recently unearthed a collection of old tweets that show the filmmaker joking about controversial topics such as pedophilia and rape.

“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,” said Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn in a statement.

Gunn recently deleted his Twitter account but before he did he tweeted, “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 eventually reactivated his account.

Gunn began his career in filmmaking with Troma Entertainment, a low-budget outfit known for making lowbrow and provocative movies. He made the movie to the big leagues by penning the script for 2002’a Scooby-Doo and went on to write the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed before writing and directing Slither, a cult classic gross-out horror film.

In 2014, Gunn helmed the original Guardians of the Galaxy film, which was a smash success, hauling in $773.3 million for Marvel Studios and launching a surprise breakout franchise. It also helped make stars out of Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Zoe Saldana. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, released last year, did even better with a box office take of $863.8 million, making Gunn a hot commodity who could call his own shots. However, the gravy train looks like it’s going to take a detour for at least a while.

Gunn was in the midst of writing the script for Guardians 3, which was expected to begin shooting in Atlanta this fall for an expected 2020 release date. It’s currently unclear how Gunn’s dismissal will affect that, though it’s unlikely that Disney will allow a franchise with that kind of money-making power to be damaged too much. Marvel also has too much riding on the continuity of their release schedule and how every film feeds into the next one.

Regardless, it will be interesting to see what a Guardians of the Galaxy film looks like without Gunn’s vision. Will it follow his blueprint or will we see a different look and feel (and soundtrack)?

[THR]

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Neighborhoods.com, Curbed Seattle and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.