In a move that probably shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, a last-ditch effort to get James Gunn reinstated as the director of Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3 has failed to pan out.
The news comes to us from Variety, who describe a meeting between Gunn and Disney studio chairman Alan Horn which happened just yesterday:
"Gunn and his UTA reps pushed hard for him to be given a second chance, and Horn decided to take the meeting but only as a courtesy to clear the air with Gunn. Though the meeting was described as civil and professional, sources say that Horn stood by his decision to not reinstate Gunn as director."
We're not shocked. Disney painted themselves into a corner on this one, and Gunn (who has remained silent on social media ever since a number of years-old joke tweets caused him to be removed from the project) does not strike us as the begging type. The decision's been made, it's final, and now it's time for everyone to move on.
What does that look like? Well, for Disney and Gunn, that means negotiating some sort of payout (which earlier reports suggested could be as high as $10M). For Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3, that means pushing the project back by some months (possibly as much as a year) and finding a new director. For its cast, it means ... well, possibly making some hard choices.
For the rest of us, it's just a very bitter pill: not only will fans not get to see Gunn finish what he started, but they also have to live with the fact that much of this was brought about thanks to a bad-faith campaign launched by one of the internet's most notororious trolls. No getting around it: from top to bottom, this thing sucks.
Good news is, it doesn't sound like James Gunn will have any trouble finding work, and we look forward to seeing whatever he does next. Pour one out for the dude in the comments below, and stay tuned for more on Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3 as it becomes available.