James Gunn, the writer-director behind Marvel's mega-hit Guardians of the Galaxy films, has been tapped to write the sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad, ET has confirmed. He could also be directing the film, according to multiple sources.
In late July, the 52-year-old filmmaker was abruptly dropped by Disney when a series of decade-old tweets were released by conservative news outlet the Daily Caller. The posts made crude jokes concerning rape and pedophilia. Shortly after his firing, Gunn released a statement attempting to explain his troubling, albeit old, tweets, as well as offering an apology.
“Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today,” he wrote. “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.”
Production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was quickly put on hold and the franchise’s cast, which includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Dave Bautista, signed an open letter asking that Gunn be reinstated as the third film’s director.
“In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever,” the letter read in part. “We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now. Each of us looks forward to working with our friend James again in the future. His story isn’t over – not by a long shot." However, Gunn was never granted his old job again.
The first Suicide Squad told the story of a similar band of misfits made up of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and more who must work together in order to stop an entity known as Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) who wishes to destroy humankind. Oscar winner Jared Leto also tackled the Joker, who cuts his own swath of chaos through the film.
Although Suicide Squad was heavily panned by critics it still managed to make $746 million worldwide.
Shortly after news of Gunn's hiring surfaced, Bautista took to Twitter to offer a ringing endorsement, writing, "Where do I sign up!"
Get more film and TV news below.
David Bautista Says He May Not Return for 'Guardians of the Galaxy 3' After James Gunn Firing
Chris Pratt Opens Up About James Gunn's Firing From 'Guardians of the Galaxy 3'
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and More Ask for James Gunn to Be Reinstated as Director of 'Guardians of the Galaxy'