The tentatively titled The Suicide Squad is scheduled for an August 2021 release, which, as The Hollywood Reporter points out, means that the follow-up to the 2016 flick will be his next project — seemingly indicating that any hopes for Gunn's speedy return to the Guardians franchise are gone. (Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 was originally slated for a 2020 release, although Marvel boss Kevin Feige recently told MTV News that the current fate of Vol. 3 is up in the air.)
Disney fired Gunn from the hit Marvel franchise in July 2018 after a series of his old problematic tweets resurfaced, for which he swiftly and sincerely apologized. Encouraged by the outpour of support from fans, the entire core cast — including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, and others — signed an open letter standing by their director. Some vocally supported his un-firing.
Although the public backing didn't help Gunn return to his initial post, it may have given Warner Bros. more confidence in their hiring decision. Mere months after Disney decided to take Guardians in a new direction, the competing studio tapped Gunn to write The Suicide Squad. His script is said to revamp the franchise with new characters, making it distinct from the critically panned (but Oscar-winning!) David Ayer-directed movie.
It sounds like we're about to usher in a brand new era of superheroes straight from the mind of James Gunn.