Guardians of the Galaxy 3 puts James Gunn back at the helm after his firing in 2018

Image credit: Getty

Whenever Guardians of the Galaxy 3 happens, it will have James Gunn back at the helm. Deadline Hollywood has confirmed with Marvel that Gunn will return to direct the post-Avengers: Endgame sequel in a big reversal from his firing last year. If you're wondering what that distant rumbling sound is, it's probably just Dave Bautista celebrating.

Marvel parent company Disney cut Gunn off after the alt-right Twitter crowd dug up some pretty vile attempts at humor (using pedophilia, rape, and so on as punchlines) from deep in Gunn's timeline and shoved them straight into the media spotlight. Gunn immediately apologized for the jokes, explaining them as the provacateurial posturing of a younger, dumber guy. Disney seemed unmoved by his mea culpas at the time even as members of the Guardians cast leaped to his defense - particularly Bautista, who threatened to leave his role as Drax the Destroyer if Disney refused to reconsider. That said, it still planned to use Gunn's script for the film.

According to the report, Gunn met with Walt Disney Studios president Alan Horn several times to discuss the imbroglio; the private meetings and Gunn's public apologies were eventually enough to secure his return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There's still the awkward matter of Gunn directing Suicide Squad 2 in the rival DC Extended Universe, but it sounds like Disney will simply wait for him to finish there before starting production on Guardians of the Galaxy 3.

It's far too early to speculate about what Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will be - spoiler alert if you still haven't seen Avengers: Infinity War - but Rocket is the only living Guardian for it to follow at this point. Presumably, that will all change after Avengers 4 happens. Is it too much to hope for a Guardians heavy post-credits scene, teasing the whole gang being back together?

Why not celebrate this happy MCU news by watching that second Avengers: Endgame trailer a few dozen more times? 

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.