Getty Images

Surprise: James Gunn Is Back To Direct Guardians Of The Galaxy 3

After his firing last year, Disney and Marvel are giving Gunn a second chance

Disney is giving James Gunn a second chance. After firing the Guardians of the Galaxy writer-director last July, the studio has now hired him back to direct the successful Marvel franchise's anticipated third installment, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

In a statement posted directly to his social media accounts, Gunn said he "deeply appreciates Disney's decision" and that he's "excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all."

Gunn was fired after a series of old, problematic tweets were unearthed last year. Disney's swift decision sparked outrage from Guardians fans — including its own cast. Following Gunn's abrupt ousting, franchise stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Michael Rooker, and Sean Gunn penned an open letter to Disney stating that they "fully support" the director. Bautista even went as far to question his own future in Guardians following the studio's "nauseating" decision to remove Gunn from Vol. 3, despite penning the script.

In the months that followed, Marvel Studios put Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on hold, and Gunn booked an exciting new gig... over at DC Films and Warner Bros., where he was tapped to write and direct his own Suicide Squad film — and production is already underway, starting with the casting of Idris Elba as Deadshot. According to reports, Gunn will start Guardians 3 after production wraps on his Suicide Squad revamp.

As for those tweets, well, Gunn already apologized for his "totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative" last year. But in his most recent statement, the director says he is "always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be."