James Gunn Reveals Disney Rehired Him For Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Long Before Announcement

By Tom Drew Posted:
James Gunn Guardians 3

The Suicide Squad will be director James Gunn's first film in the DC universe after having directed two MCU blockbusters in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.

Empire 's latest issue focuses on the upcoming DC film, which came with two explosive covers that feature the cast of The Suicide Squad together. The feature has included many new images from the film's production, including one of the cast gleefully sharing a laugh.

Other images showed the cast on set, which was accompanied by details from James Gunn comparing the Squad members to the Guardians of the Galaxy. The issue also included some new tidbits about the film's setting and premise, which will take place on a fictional Latin American island.

Even more details have been released from the issue, with some of the information relating to Gunn's work in the MCU...


Empire released more quotes from director James Gunn about The Suicide Squad . One point of focus was on how Gunn got the job at DC and how this related to his controversial firing from Marvel Studios in 2018.

Gunn specifically says that it was a "happy ending" and interestingly notes that he was rehired for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 " the day after [he] agreed" to write The Suicide Squad:

"It was a happy ending, but it was also scary, because I actually got the call from Alan Horn long before it was announced: it happened literally the day after I agreed to do The Suicide Squad. "

Following this call, Gunn also caught up with producer and head of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige, who asked whether Gunn was doing a Superman film for DC. While Gunn ultimately did not go for a film centered on the Man of Steel, he did say Superman was "a possibility" given by Warner Bros.

Feige had no ill will towards Gunn's decision though, saying:

"Please, please make a good movie. Just… make a great movie."

Gunn has kept Feige in the loop about the project, telling him a lot of details about The Suicide Squad behind the scenes:

"Kevin knew who all those characters were for months before we revealed them at FanDome...He still knows who the villain is. I think he’s pretty trustworthy with his NDA!"


If Gunn's timeline is accurate, this could indicate that the director was rehired for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in October 2018, 5 months prior to the announcement of his return in March 2019. Gunn specifically states that he "got the call from [Walt Disney Studios chairman] Alan Horn long before it was announced," indicating the long time span between him being rehired and the subsequent announcement later on.

It is unknown why Marvel Studios would have waited an extended period of time to announce James Gunn's return to the project, though it was likely to allow the dust to settle surrounding the controversy itself. While it was largely agreed by many that Gunn's firing from the third Guardians film was unfair, it is likely that Disney would have wanted to put some distance between the controversy and his rehiring announcement.

With Gunn being offered Superman as an option, it appears that Warner Bros. has allowed the director a lot of freedom when it comes to his DC projects. Perhaps critical and commercial success for The Suicide Squad will allow James Gunn to helm a Man of Tomorrow project in the future.

It is also interesting to see how close Gunn and Feige are in being able to confide in each other about projects. If anyone wants the latest scoop on The Suicide Squad , they'll have to go to the President of Marvel Studios himself for answers.

The Suicide Squad releases in theaters on August 6, 2021.

- In This Article: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release Date
May 05, 2023
- About The Author: Tom Drew
Tom Drew is the Executive Editor at The Direct. Tom writes for The Direct's Marvel, Star Wars, and DC branches while specializing in all things movies, from blockbuster to indie darlings.