The Guardians of the Galaxy are reunited, at long last. Over four years after it was first announced, production is now underway on “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and writer/director James Gunn has shared a cast photo to mark the occasion — and to note the “strange [and] long [and] at times challenging” journey he’s taken to arrive at this moment.
In July 2018, after Gunn had completed the screenplay for “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” and as preparations were underway for pre-production to begin, the filmmaker was fired by Disney. Offensive tweets from Gunn’s past had resurfaced, and Disney chairman Alan F. Horn announced that Gunn had been let go, noting that the “offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values.” At the time, Gunn released a statement of his own taking responsibility for the tweets, adding that he had developed as a person and was “very, very different” than the person who sent those tweets. Gunn acknowledged he was “saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction.”
Immediately, fans and “Guardians” cast members rallied support for Gunn, and backdoor meetings with Horn and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige (who was not involved in Gunn’s firing) began. By October of the same year, Gunn was rehired as the director of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” but by this time he had already signed on to write and direct “The Suicide Squad” for Warner Bros. and DC. Thus, “Guardians 3” was delayed while Gunn went off and made his DC film.
Related video: Director James Gunn reveals original ‘The Suicide Squad’ title
But with “The Suicide Squad” having been released this past August by Warner Bros., Gunn is now finally back with his Guardians and is spearheading what he’s teased is a conclusive story arc to the characters he introduced with the groundbreaking 2014 film.
In Gunn’s tweet marking the start of production, the filmmaker said the challenging road and obstacles “have only made this moment more blissful.” Alongside returning cast members like Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan and Pom Klementieff, this photo also reveals Will Poulter who is joining the film as Marvel comics character Adam Warlock.
Check out the photo below. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will be released in theaters on May 5, 2023.