James Gunn, the writer and director for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy movies, was fired by Disney last month when his offensive, years-old Twitter posts were recirculated. The entertainment giant's decision to remove Gunn from any involvement with the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, for which he had already completed a draft of the script, was met with protest from his fans and colleagues in the industry who hoped to see him reinstated. However, Gunn's future in film looks to contain many possibilities beyond returning to Marvel.
Multiple studio executives are interested in working with Gunn, sources have told The Hollywood Reporter. At this time, no action can be taken by other studios to approach him with offers, as his exit from Disney has yet to be finalized. The tweets that caused the company to fire him were not a breach of contract, as they were published long before he was hired for Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), which leaves a complicated negotiation process before all ties can be severed. If Gunn becomes available to take on a new project in the foreseeable future, though, it's likely that he'll have no shortage of options.
Due to the sensitivity of the situation, sources who weighed in on the matter remained anonymous. One executive at a rival studio was quoted as saying, "I'd work with [Gunn] in a heartbeat." Another, addressing the jokes that caused him to be fired, noted, "Having an inappropriate sense of humor shouldn’t be a crime," which echoes the sentiment of those who have come out in support of Gunn, and also draws attention to the difference between Disney's family-friendly image and those of other studios.
The circumstances of Gunn's removal have caused a measure of controversy. The Guardians of the Galaxy cast signed an open letter in support of their former director. Actor Dave Bautista expressed his intentions to quit the upcoming Guardians film if Gunn's script isn't used. Fans created a petition to rehire him that has reached over 370,000 signatures. Many have pointed out that Gunn's offensive tweets, joking about topics such as rape and pedophilia, became a problem only when they were broadcast by alt-right agitators who took issue with Gunn's politics.
This controversy can't be expected to evaporate if -- and when -- Gunn is hired by another studio, but it seems that some executives are prepared to deal with that for the sake of enlisting his talent.