Who Will Direct ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’? This Is Reportedly Disney’s Current Thinking

Star-Lord and Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Marvel

It has been nearly two weeks since Disney fired James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and we’ve still received no official word about the future of that film. However, a new report from Variety sheds some light on what the current thinking is behind the scenes.

Unfortunately for Gunn’s supporters, Variety’s report suggests that Disney is unlikely to rehire him, even in spite of the cast’s plea to bring him back that was posted online earlier this week. So if Gunn isn’t going to make a return, who could take over for him?

Variety’s article mentions that there have been some rumors about Taika Waititi, Jon Favreau, or even The Russo Brothers taking over, but according to their sources, “many of the usual suspects are busy with prior obligations.” Therefore, the thinking is that Disney will bring in someone brand new who has not worked with Marvel before.

Disney and Marvel reportedly aren’t in any great rush to find this new director, and they have yet to meet with anyone. That certainly makes it sound as if the film will be delayed. Although it was never given an official release date, it was expected to be released in 2020, with filming beginning early next year. But if Disney were to completely sever ties with Gunn, his screenplay would need to be totally reworked. Finding a new writer and director and getting a completed screenplay ready in time for early next year seems like a tall order.

It makes sense that the Russo Brothers and Jon Favreau wouldn’t be able to direct Vol. 3, as the Russos just signed on to create a new series for Amazon and Favreau is working on a live-action Star Wars show. Waititi is also currently at work on a movie, Jojo Rabbit, which will likely keep him busy for the rest of the year at least. He doesn’t have any projects announced for after that, though.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Marvel

Replacing Gunn on Vol. 3 is certainly going to be a challenge. For one, his style was so unique, and the movies were so strongly associated with him; he’s the one who really made the Guardians what they are today, and he even came up with the Awesome Mix concept and picked all the songs. Gunn has also spoken about the fact that the story of redemption is very personal to him. So this isn’t like The Russo Brothers directing Infinity War after Joss Whedon directed the first two Avengers movies; it will likely be a much bigger shift than that.

This new report doesn’t totally put to rest any chance of Gunn being rehired, though. In fact, Variety reported in a separate article on Monday, “Sources say there has been a growing feeling that Gunn could be reinstated, especially because Marvel and Disney have been unusually radio-silent on who could replace him since the firing.”

So until we hear from Disney itself, we shouldn’t rule anything out. But it sounds like Gunn’s return to the project is becoming a bit less likely, with Disney feeling like his jokes are unacceptable and don’t fit with their family-friendly image; plus, the studio feels that the actors will show up for Vol. 3 anyway, even if they might disapprove of his firing.