James Gunn, writer and director of Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, was rehired in March to helm the third movie in the trilogy after previously being fired by Disney for a series of offensive jokes that were unearthed from his Twitter account.
His public comments since being reinstated have been limited, but in an interview with Deadline, he made it clear he isn't holding any animosity toward the company or individuals responsible for removing him.
"I don’t blame anyone," Gunn said when asked about his muted response to being fired in spite of being known for his active presence on social media. "I feel and have felt bad for a while about some of the ways I spoke publicly; some of the jokes I made, some of the targets of my humor, just the unintentional consequences of not being more compassionate in what I’m putting out there. I know that people have been hurt by things that I’ve said, and that’s still my responsibility, that I wasn’t as compassionate as I should be in what I say. I feel bad for that and take full responsibility."
Although many of his fans were upset about the decision and Gunn himself described the emotional difficulties and fears he experienced at the time, he doesn't view the executive action of Disney as a mistake.
"Disney totally had the right to fire me," he admitted. "This wasn’t a free speech issue. I said something they didn’t like and they completely had the right to fire me. There was never any argument of that."
The schedule for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been pushed back due to the situation with Gunn, who had committed to directing the DCEU's Suicide Squad and will complete his work on that before beginning production on Vol. 3. Whether Gunn's experiences in the meantime will cause any other kind of changes to the movie remain to be seen.
Written and directed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 does not currently have a release date. The film is reportedly scheduled to begin production in February 2021.