James Gunn is back to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
The news comes courtesy of Deadline, with the outlet reporting that the decision to rehire Gunn following his controversial firing was actually made months ago. However, there were some challenges that needed to be worked out, as the director has signed on to write and direct The Suicide Squad for Warner Bros. It appears that film will be first up for Gunn, with the director expected to turn his attention back to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 shortly thereafter.
Gunn, of course, was famously fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in July 2018 after some offensive tweets resurfaced due to an alt-right blogger. At the time, Alan Horn, the Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, opted to cut ties with Gunn due to the content of the controversial tweets, which led to plenty of backlash online. It is unclear what led to Horn's change of heart. However, it's reported that the way Gunn went about handling the situation afterwards, as well as his public apology, ultimately resulted in Horn meeting with him in recent months to reinstate him on the project.
While it was speculated that Marvel Studios had been talking to Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi to direct the film, Marvel Studios is said to have never actually met with any directors -- nor considered any others -- following Gunn's firing. Production was initially slated to begin on Vol. 3 this past January for a reported 2020 release. However, with The Suicide Squad taking priority for Gunn over Vol. 3, it's doubtful we'll see any progress made on the third and final installment of the Guardians trilogy until 2020, as The Suicide Squad is expected to begin production this fall.
As of this writing, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 does not have a release date.