Back in July 2018, director James Gunn was fired from Marvel Studios. The Guardians of the Galaxy director had several controversial Tweets resurface that painted him in a poor light. This set the MCU fandom ablaze with confusion, sadness, and an unpredictable future.
Four months later, Gunn was hired by Warner Bros. to write and direct the next installment of The Suicide Squad. After years of production and one Peacekeeper spin-off later, the deadly film is now set to release in less than one month.
In March 2019, Disney ultimately took back its decision and rehired Gunn to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. He will also work on The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special for Marvel Studios.
Guardians Vol. 3 was significantly delayed because of Gunn's new Warner Bros. deal, but Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and the rest of Marvel Studios adjusted. The third Guardians film is now set to be released on May 5, 2023.
Even though Disney ultimately retracted its decision, the day that Gunn was initially fired remains a definitive one in his memory.
FEIGE TOLD GUNN HE WAS FIRED FROM MARVEL
In a recent interview with The New York Times, James Gunn revealed that Kevin Feige told him that "the powers that be" at Disney were firing him. According to Gunn, Feige was "in shock" and that, for a day, the director thought he "was going to have to sell [his] house" and "was never going to be able to work again:"
"It was conveyed to me by Kevin Feige [the Marvel Studios president]. I called Kevin the morning it was going on, and I said, 'Is this a big deal?' And he goes, 'I don’t know.' That was a moment. I was like, 'You don’t know?' I was surprised. Later he called me — he himself was in shock — and told me what the powers that be had decided. It was unbelievable. And for a day, it seemed like everything was gone. Everything was gone. I was going to have to sell my house. I was never going to be able to work again. That’s what it felt like."
IN ANOTHER TIMELINE...
Luckily for fans, James Gunn is getting the chance to finish what he started with Guardians of the Galaxy.
However, in a different timeline, Gunn would've never returned and maybe even been canceled enough where he would've never worked again. Due to the nature of the Tweets in question, some may have rather him remained fired, but Disney seems like it wants to leave it in the past.
There's also a different timeline where Gunn was never fired because he made these Tweets years before he even worked for the company, and Guardians Vol. 3 would already have been released in theaters.
In the actual timeline here on Earth, fans get to not only watch a third Guardians directed by Gunn but also have the opportunity to see The Suicide Squad in all of its R-Rated glory. Despite the six-year gap between Vol. 2 and Vol. 3, some fans would argue this is the best-case scenario.
It's interesting to look back at Gunn's inner thoughts when this was initially unraveling, as many were shocked at the time of his termination. It seems that Kevin Feige didn't have a say in the decision and perhaps didn't agree with the initial firing.
Nevertheless, Gunn will be back in the MCU when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 blasts into theaters on May 5, 2023.