A risk-taking approach from Disney's Marvel Studios has racked up some big wins, most recently, multiple Oscars for "Black Panther," but its decision to use the script of fired "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn for the third installment of the trilogy takes Marvel and its parent company back into the tricky waters of social controversy.
Gunn was fired last summer for jokes he made on Twitter years prior to becoming the face of the "Guardians" franchise — he had made jokes involving sexual abuse and children. Gunn also made highly politicized comments on his social media — it was conservative social media users who brought Gunn's insensitive tweets to light. But in a recent interview addressing Gunn's influence on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that "Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume Three" will in fact use the script that Gunn wrote.
"His influence was Guardians... It was his input on Guardians and the 'Avengers' films, as you've seen in 'Infinity War,' and on the Guardians 3 script, which we're still using. So you'll see that influence."
The two "Guardian's" movies: "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014) and "Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2" (2017) grossed a combined worldwide total over $1.5 billion, according to Box Office Mojo, and both films scored well with critics and audiences, with scores in the 80s and 90s on Rotten Tomatoes.
Although the franchise has an all-star cast which consists of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper, among others, it has been Gunn's writing and vision that have defined what was a mostly second-tier list of Marvel characters, winning him approval from film critics.
"All praise to director James Gunn ... for making his first epic an epic treat," wrote Rolling Stone's film reviewer Peter Travers in regards to Gunn's first Guardians movie.