Guardians director James Gunn: Disney 'had right' to fire me

Brunilde Fioravanti
Mag 16, 2019

One of the things that struck him during the darker times though, was the very public outpouring of support from his Guardians of the Galaxy cast. He unplugged from social media and took it all minute-by-minute.

But 10 days after he was sacked, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel and Dave Bautista - who all star in Guardians - signed an open letter saying they supported the director.

The Suicide Squad, it just instantly started flowing. I love Groot in a completely different way.

As for what he was going to miss about not directing Guardians of the Galaxy 3, James Gunn admits it was having to do with Rocket's story arc.

"I know that people have been hurt by things that I've said, and that's still my responsibility."
"Technically my fears were allayed immediately", Gunn remembered, "Jason Blum was doing a [San Diego Comic-Con] panel when the announcement happened and he said, 'I'd hire James Gunn right now'".

"I don't blame anyone", he says of his initial reaction to being sacked.

Of the moment he'd found out he'd been fired, Gunn said, "It felt as if my career was over". He said he had previously thought love came from his work but said the support he received from his girlfriend, agent, and friends like Chris Pratt, Sylvester Stallone, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista was "absolutely overwhelming" and showed him true love. "And then I had to go tell (Marvel boss) Kevin Feige I had just chose to do Suicide Squad, so that made me very nervous".

While Groot, the fan-favorite of the franchise, is more "like my dog", Gunn says, Rocket is Gunn's surrogate in the series, and he would have liked to see through his entire character arc in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. But while he has largely made peace with how things unfolded, Gunn said there was one element of the entire debacle that would have hit him hard: not being able to finish Rocket Raccoon's arc.

"He has an arc that started in the first movie, continued into the second and goes through Infinity War and Endgame, and then I was set to really finish that arc in Guardians 3", continued Gunn.

Gunn will shoot The Suicide Squad first, with that film due on 6 August 2021, and the third Guardians likely to follow in 2022. That was a big loss to me-not being able to finish that story-though I was comforted by the fact that they were still planning to use my script. For now, everything is looking good and Gunn is happy with the way everything went down.

Speaking with Deadline, Gunn went over how his firing by Disney impacted his life and how he viewed himself.

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