Has Anyone Fumbled The Bag Harder Than Marvel Did When They Canned James Gunn?
On today's episode of LCB we did a 42 team super-draft of Marvel projects with robbie fox. We also did a little Guardians 3 talk and came to the consensus that the guardians trilogy is by far the best sub-universe within the MCU. To me, that cements the fact that nobody has fucked up worse than Marvel did when they canned James Gunn.
ICYMI, Gunn got shit canned between Guardians 2 and 3 because social media politics guys decided to dig up Gunn's decade old joke tweets and posted them anywhere they could. THR did a cool report on the behind the scenes situation.
"...Feige called to tell him[Gunn] he was being fired, a decision made by then-Disney film chair Alan Horn. The exec couldn’t conceive of a world in which Gunn’s tweeted jokes made any sense.
"Horn issued a statement announcing the firing, calling the tweets 'indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values.'"
After this, basically every single person involved in the making of Guardians rallied around Gunn. Actors threatened to quit, Bobcat Goldthwait threatened to revoke his voice rights for disney rides, etc. A WIDE majority of people online disagreed with the call as well. And, after all that, Alan Horn Re-hired him less than a year later.
It came down to a change of heart from Horn, the Disney chairman, who had the growing sensation he’d made the wrong call. Gunn heard he was having trouble sleeping over the firing.
“It’s a hundred percent because Alan Horn felt sick. He did it because he thought it was the right thing to do,” says Gunn.
Horn won’t comment on Gunn’s tweets or the decision that saw Gunn rehired. But he says that the filmmaker’s attitude after the firing revealed a strong character. “Everything he did subsequently was first class,” says Horn. “He was such a gentleman about it in the ensuing months that we just brought him back. It felt like the right thing to do. I hold him in absolute high regard.”
This exec, Alan Horn, ended up leaving Disney in 2021.
By the time this all happened, though, the damage was done. A couple months after he got canned by Marvel, he signed on to do Suicide Squad for DC. That movie ended up not only being BY FAR the best in the entire DCU (Low bar) but one of the best comic book movies of the last few years. The spinoff series, Peacemaker, that Gunn made is also better than any of Marvel's shows. This all ended up with Gunn taking on the role of co-CEO of DC films and basically becoming their Feige.
So Marvel not only canned their most consistent director for no reason, but they lost him to their main competitor! What an insane fumble by the MCU, who has been on a STEEP slide in quality for the last few years.