One of the latest scandals whizzing its way through Hollywood, and one that’s doubtless keeping plenty on directors, actors and publicists up at night, is a rehashing of stupid – and sometimes offensive – things that have been written on social media.
It might have been a throwaway gag you made many, many years ago and one that you’ve long forgotten about, but this social media pressure is now having real-life consequences, most notably for Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn.
Gunn was dropped by Disney from directing the third film in the franchise, despite making the studio a ton of cash with the first two films, after alt-right Twitter users dug up jokes he’d made in the past about sexual assault, HIV and paedophilia.
Understandably shocked, the entire cast of the film including Christ Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper wrote a passionate open letter defending Gunn and essentially calling for him to be rehired.
“There is little due process in the court of public opinion,” they said in the letter.
But, in a report that’ll upset the cast, Disney is unlikely to consider rehiring the 51-year-old filmmaker, according to Variety.
“I don’t see Disney re-hiring him,” one person close to the matter told the publication. “Those tweets were so horrible and Disney has a different standard than other studios.”
There is reportedly a feeling within Disney and Marvel that Gunn’s jokes are incompatible with the brand’s family-friendly image, especially in the wake of #MeToo.
However, recent chatter and rumours that Disney may be taking him back, amongst news that Dave Bautista was threatening to quit if they didn’t, has emerged. This lead to a meeting between studio chairman Alan Horn and Gunn, however sources say that Horn stood by his decision, and will not be reinstating Gunn. Marvel president Kevin Feige was pushing for Gunn’s return but was out of town for the meeting and unable to attend - insiders have noted that he’s also accepted the decision.
So who is likely to replace Gunn at the helm of the third film?
Insider favourites reportedly include Taika Waititi (2017’s Thor: Ragnarok), the Russo Brothers (2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War) and Jon Favreau (2008’s Iron Man and 2010’s Iron Man 2).
But Disney is also said to be considering outsiders who aren’t tied down to other upcoming Marvel projects. Could it be YOU?!
Time to dust off those CVs, methinks!