It’s been an interesting year for “Guardians of the Galaxy” writer and director James Gunn who was fired from the franchise after internet trolls resurfaced offensive tweets from 2009-2011. He was then hired by Marvel Studios rival company DC to write and direct a sequel to the film “Suicide Squad”. After both fans and stars of “Guardians of the Galaxy” protested Gunn’s dismissal he was reinstated by Disney earlier this year to write and direct the third instalment in the series. He’s now given his first proper interview about the situation and compared losing the franchise to his divorce from “The Office” star Jenna Fischer.
Throughout the process, aside from an apology for the tweets, Gunn remained mostly silent about the whole ordeal. Today, Gunn spoke in depth with Deadline about the experiences over the past year, his initial response to the firing, comparing the job loss to his divorce, and what the rehiring experience meant to him.
Perhaps surprisingly, Gunn says he doesn’t blame anyone but himself for the firing, and takes full responsibility for his past mistakes. “I don’t blame anyone. I feel and have felt bad for a while about some of the ways I spoke publicly; some of the jokes I made, some of the targets of my humour, just the unintentional consequences of not not being more compassionate in what I’m putting out there. I know that people have been hurt by things I’ve said, and that’s still my responsibility, that I wasn’t as compassionate as I should be in what I say. I feel bad for that and take full responsibility.” Gunn told Deadline.
Speaking on the split from Disney “[They] totally had the right to fire me,” he said. “This wasn’t a free speech issue. I said something they didn’t like and they completely had the right to fire me. There was never any argument of that.”
Gunn went on to compare the ordeal to his divorce from across Jenna Fisher. “It was like the break-up of my marriage,” he said. “I got divorced, and then had those conversations with my ex-wife: ‘Let’s get along as well as we possibly can and be kind to each other because we’re both a large part of each other’s lives.’
“I wanted to feel that way about Disney. I didn’t want to look back and feel bitter, upset or angry. Of course all sorts of emotions are attached to it. But I just wanted to be comfortable saying goodbye and splitting up, and that’s where my head was at, even in the very early meeting we had, a week or two weeks after it all happened.”
Eventually though, Gunn was rehired and is back to work on the third instalment in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise. Production on the film will begin after Gunn completes “Suicide Squad 2”. The full interview with Deadline can be read here.