Hollywood filmmaker James Gunn, who was dropped by Disney from the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie after decades-old offensive tweets by him resurfaced, has been hired by Warner Bros and DC to write and possibly direct the Suicide Squad sequel, Deadline reported.
This is Gunn’s first assignment since Disney removed him from the money-spinning Guardians franchise. Gunn had written and directed the first two films, which were released in 2014 and 2017 respectively.
The tweets about rape and paedophilia were unearthed by the conservative website The Daily Caller. “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” Walt Disney Studios chairperson Alan Horn had said at the time.
Gunn’s departure sparked off an unprecedented show of support by the Guardians cast, with Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista, among others, floating a petition to reinstate Gunn. The third Guardians movie has been indefinitely put on hold amidst reports that Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi might be hired to complete the project.
Warner Bros had initially hired Gavin O’Connor to direct the sequel to the superhero film Suicide Squad (2016), but started looking for a replacement after O’Connor got attached to the Ben Affleck-starrer Torrance, Deadline reported.
“It has been easy for studios to run from filmmakers caught up in this #MeToo moment, but Gunn was the decided exception,” Deadline said. “Many felt that his attempt to be provocative...were only words, even if his missives were indefensible.”
Suicide Squad, which was directed by David Ayer, has spawned the spinoff Birds of Prey, featuring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.