The third installation of the wildly popular film franchise The Guardians of the Galaxy has been shelved indefinitely, according to sources who spoke with the Hollywood Reporter. Various crew members seeking employment on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 were in the process of gathering to begin pre-production on the science fiction comic book flick before being dismissed and told to look for work elsewhere.
One source speaking to the Hollywood Reporter described the sudden dismissal as more of a temporary regrouping, a sentiment that seems to be echoed by a second source who said, "the timeline has been pushed out."
There is no formal release date as yet for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
The Marvel movie was slated to be helmed by director James Gunn, who worked on the previous two iterations of the blockbuster series, before he was unceremoniously fired by Disney after some controversial tweets were uncovered. CNN reports that Gunn took to Twitter soon after the old tweets had come to light to explain the circumstances of the social media posts, giving his mea culpa alongside his explanation for their content and context.
"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... It's not to say I'm better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it's shocking and trying to get a reaction are over."
According to Screen Rant, the director's tweets from a decade ago were resurfaced and subjected to public scrutiny primarily via an article posted to conservative website the Daily Caller. With left-leaning outlets offering a narrative that Gunn was engaging in crude, crass, and spontaneous humor that his personality was known for in years past, while right-leaning outlets were selling the story that Gunn had made inexcusably offensive and frightening comments while in charge of an all-ages film production under Disney's supervision, the story ignited a firestorm of controversy. The results have now, potentially, become apparent.Many cast members of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise came to Gunn's aid, stepping in on social media to lend their voices to the discussion. Prominent among them was former WWE superstar Dave Bautista, who plays Drax the Destroyer in the comedic space-faring series. Describing those attacking Gunn's "horrible jokes" as "cybernazis," the athletic actor called the affair a plain injustice with his hashtags closing out the tweet. Bautista was not alone, joined by Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana in less direct terms. The actors play Peter Quill, or Star-Lord, and Gamora the assassin respectively.
Bautista took to Twitter just earlier today to call out right-wing pundit Mike Cernovich for having been the mastermind behind Gunn's downfall, according to Screen Rant. His share has so far received over 18,000 likes on the social media service.