James Gunn has been rehired as director of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 months after previously losing that position over old tweets.
Representatives for the Walt Disney Co and for Gunn on Friday confirmed that he has been reinstated as writer-director of the Marvel franchise he has guided from the start.
Gunn was fired last July over tweets from nearly a decade ago in which he joked about subjects like paedophilia and rape.
Gunn earlier apologised for the tweets, which he called “unfortunate efforts to be provocative”.
Disney chairman Alan Horn at the time said Gunn’s words were inconsistent with the studio’s values.
1. 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. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
The comments, made from 2008 to 2011, were brought to light by far-right propagandists Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec who combed through Gunn’s social media history after Gunn’s criticism of President Donald Trump.
But Gunn’s dismissal was passionately protested by many.
Fan petitions circulated online.
The Guardians cast, including Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel and other stars, supported Gunn in an open letter.
“Although I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man,” Pratt said.
Gunn has since signed on to write and direct the next instalment of Warner Bros’ Suicide Squad for the Marvel rival DC Comics.
That film is to shoot in the autumn and be released in August 2021.
A Disney spokesman declined to comment on when Guardians 3 might go into production.
The first two films have made more than 1.5 billion US dollars in worldwide ticket sales.
Deadline first reported Gunn’s rehiring.