James Gunn may have been fired from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but DC Comics will welcome him with open arms.
Warner Bros. on Tuesday confirmed that Gunn will write the script to the studio’s next installment of Suicide Squad, the DC supervillain team-up franchise. In July, Disney fired Gunn after jokes involving rape and pedophilia he wrote years earlier on Twitter resurfaced.
The creative force between the two hugely popular Guardians films, Gunn’s firing prompted its own backlash. The cast issued a statement of support for their writer-director, imploring Disney to reinstate him.
But instead, Gunn will take over Suicide Squad, the franchise led by Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. The first film, written and directed by David Ayer, earned $747 million in 2016 but drew withering reviews. Gunn is expected to take an entirely new approach, and potentially direct the new Suicide Squad installment.
Gunn’s tweets, largely from 2009-2012, received renewed attention after Gunn’s criticism of President Donald Trump prompted far-right propagandists Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec to comb through Gunn’s social media history. Gunn apologized.
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” said Gunn. “I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.”
The Suicide Squad gig is the first Gunn has taken since departing Guardians, for which he had been expected to make a third film.
There are also rumours that he might be directing the flick; Warner Bros had director Gavin O’Connor attached to that film but he is now engaged in directing Ben Affleck in the Brad Ingelsby-scripted drama Torrance. The studio has been in talks with Gunn to step in and develop this film and the deal was made after he was settled out of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 by Disney.