• Brian Flinchbaugh

Plenty of Questions After James Gunn's Firing

By now, everyone knows that Disney removed James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 following the controversy surrounding inappropriate tweets he made years ago. There are strong feelings on both sides about how this situation was handled, so we’ll let that play out on its own.


What we need to talk about, though, is how this move will affect Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 specifically and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.


The Guardians of the Galaxy has been on of Marvel’s more popular cinematic franchises since the first film debuted in 2014. Casual fans often comment that the Guardians are their favorite. That’s understandable given the humor and unique tone that makes it different from the rest of the MCU. So now that Gunn, is off the project, how will things change?


Will Marvel keep the script?

Gunn has already finished the script, but by severing ties with him, Disney likely doesn’t want his name attached to the film in any way. If they use his script, he’ll still be credited as the screenwriter. To avoid this, they’ll probably hire another writer to start over.


Will the story change?

This is a big question. We were told that Guardians 3 would set up the next ten years of MCU films. How far from Gunn’s vision Marvel Studios wants to go will determine how much of the actual plot changes and any effects on the MCU’s future. They certainly want to keep the tone and essence of the characters the same. Nobody knows more about these characters than Gunn, Kevin Feige has his hands in everything. He should be able to keep things in going in the right direction. And whatever changes are made, we’ll probably never know.


Will production be delayed?

Production was scheduled to start early 2019, but it’s hard to see that not being pushed back. If they do indeed hire a writer to pen a new script, an early 2019 production date would be pushing it. And they haven’t hired a writer yet. To avoid a delay, they’d have to figure that out soon very quickly.


Will the release be delayed?

It’s assumed that Guardians 3 is slotted for a May 2020 release date. That’s entirely feasible even if there is a short delay in production. Assuming the timeline of the story doesn’t change, we can assume the film will meet this release date.


Will the cosmic MCU be affected?

Gunn was working closely with Feige on developing the cosmic side of the MCU, which is going to feature prominently after Avengers 4. As brilliant as Gunn is, he’s not the only one capable of leading Marvel into the cosmos. Feige will find another guru but until then, he’s perfectly capable of leading the way himself.


Losing James Gunn does bring about some questions and uncertainty that the MCU didn’t have before. The ground feels just a tad more shaky. But we have to believe the characters that were going to be introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, whoever they are (Adam Warlock? Nova? Quasar?) will still make their way to the screen and the overall feel of the franchise will be unchanged. While this certainly isn’t what a studio wants, Marvel has shown the ability to overcome adversity in the past and have the creative structure in place to do so again.

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