James Gunn has reportedly been reinstated as director of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

According to a report from Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr., both Marvel and people from Gunn’s camp have confirmed the director has beeen reinstated for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Fleming reports “the decision to rehire Gunn was one that was mulled and actually made months ago, following conversations with Disney studio leadership and the team at Marvel Studios.”

The report claims Gunn met with Walt Disney Studios president Alan Horn several times and he was persuaded by Gunn’s public apology and his handling of the situation to reinstate him.

Disney’s Alan Horn fired James Gunn in July of last year just before he was expected to make an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con. Horn told Variety, “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.”

Gunn faced accusations of pedophilia after numerous tweets discussing the subject matter, which some interpreted as bad jokes.

Before getting fired Gunn responded to the accusations via Twitter saying, “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.” He would add, “In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies. For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it.” He concluded, “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.”

Gunn would issue a statement following the announcement that Disney fired him:

“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.

Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.”

Gunn would receive support from the entire cast of Guardians of the Galaxy as they took to social media with a letter of support for the director. Drax actor Dave Bautista would vociferously defend Gunn and target Disney likening the film studio to fascists saying, “Its also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis.”

A fan petition requesting Marvel and Disney rehire James Gunn has over 429,000 signatures as of this writing.

Following Disney’s firing Gunn would move on reportedly inking a deal with competitor Warner Bros. to write and direct an upcoming Suicide Squad movie that is expected to star Idris Elba as Deadshot. There’s also a rumor that Dave Bautista could play Peacemaker.

While Gunn had seemingly moved on, Chris Pratt, who plays Star-Lord in Guardians, indicated that Marvel and Disney planned on using Gunn’s script in February. This would be confirmed by Kevin Feige later in the month. Given Deadline’s reporting, it’s possible both Feige and Pratt knew that Gunn would be returning.

Gunn had indicated on Twitter that he had turned in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 script in June of last year.

Are you excited for Gunn to be returning to Guardians of the Galaxy? What do you make of Disney’s decision to reportedly rehire him?

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