James Gunn, who helmed the first and second "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies, was recently fired
as the director of the third movie.
23 Jul – Suffice to say it was more than just the fans of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise who were shocked when news broke over the weekend that James Gunn has been fired as the director for the upcoming threequel.
Senator Ted Cruz shared some of Gunn's offensive tweets, saying that the director "needs to be prosecuted".
Fans who are rooting for the director are now signing a petition for Walt Disney Studios to rehire Gunn as the helmer for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vo. 3".
At the time of writing, the ChangeOn petition titled "RE-HIRE JAMES GUNN" has close to 150,000 signatures.
The petition, started yesterday by a fan called chandler edwards, garnered 100,000 supporters within the span of 5 hours.
Director Joe Carnahan and actress Selma Blair are among the Hollywood stars who have also shared the petition and called for the rehiring of Gunn.
Blair, who herself is a victim of sexual harassment, even tweeted her support for Gunn, calling him "one of the good ones". Gunn had previously supported her when she came forward with her allegations against director James Toback in October last year.
Gunn was fired last Friday (US time) after his offensive old tweets that involved paedophilia and rape resurfaced online.
Following his firing, Gunn took to Twitter to explain himself: "Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo."
"My days saying something just because it's shocking and trying to get a reaction are over," said the second out of five tweets he posted regarding the issue.
"In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies."
Fans and Hollywood stars alike have been tweeting their support to James Gunn
(Photo source: Ian West/Press Association).
Meanwhile, Gunn's younger brother Sean, who's appeared as Kraglin in the previous two "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies, also penned a thoughtful 10-tweet thread in support of the director. The actor said that he was proud of his older brother and that working on the movies made his brother a better person.
Twitter is also now flooded with support tweets from Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy" cast, with Dave Bautista calling the director "one of the most caring, loving, good natured people" he has ever met, Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan giving love shout outs to their 'GOTG family' and Chris Pratt sharing a Bible verse that calls for every person to "be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger."
The fate of the third movie hangs in the balance as it is undecided whether the studio will continue with another director or it will just be scrapped altogether.
However, since the former scenario is the most likely to happen, Marvel fans have expressed that they would want to see "Thor: Ragnarok" director Taika Waititi as the new helmer.
"Guardians of the Galaxy Vo. 3" was initially scheduled to begin filming early 2019 for a May 2020 release.
Cinema Online, 23 July 2018