Disney Boss Talks Firing Guardians Of The Galaxy Director James Gunn
"I haven't second-guessed their decision."
While both Star Wars and Pixar have had their share of recent behind-the-scenes problems, until recently it seemed that Disney's other big money-maker--Marvel Studios--had avoided similar controversies. This changed in July, when Guardians of the Galaxy writer and director James Gunn was fired from the third movie in the series over offensive tweets he wrote more than a decade ago. Now Disney boss Bob Iger has commented on the controversy.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Iger was asked at what stage he became involved with the decision to fire Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3. "The James Gunn decision was brought to me as a unanimous decision of a variety of executives at the studio and I supported it," he said. When asked about whether he regretted the decision, given the amount of backlash it has produced, he stated: "I haven't second-guessed their decision."
It is currently unclear what the future of Vol.3 is. Although the movie was never given an official release date, it was expected to start production early next year ahead of a 2020 release. However, in a recent interview, Dave Bautista, who plays Drax and has been very outspoken about Gunn's dismissal, stated that the movie was now "on hold indefinitely."
Iger also addressed the wider issues of the Me Too movement and how he was ensuring Disney was a safe place to work following the departure of Pixar's John Lasseter for sexual harassment last year. "It's critical for us as leaders in this industry to create safe environments for people who have been victims of abuse to speak up and feel safe about speaking up and for others who have witnessed abuse to do the same," he said. "It's critical. As difficult as this time may seem, it's high time that we all woke up to the need to protect the people that work for us and work with us."
Elsewhere in the THR interview, Iger addressed the studio's Star Wars movies, and stated that it would be slowing down its output following the commercial disappointment of this year's Solo: A Star Wars Story. "I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made--I take the blame--was a little too much, too fast," he said. "You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn't mean we're not going to make films. But I think we're going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that."
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