According to the latest reports, James Gunn will not be rehired as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Gunn has been huge influence on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ever since he turned the obscure Guardians of the Galaxy property into a massive hit. He was set to be the first director to complete a trilogy within the MCU prior to being fired.

Although they acted quickly, Disney’s decision has not been without controversy, including a growing push for Gunn to be brought back and a number of fan petitions.

There have been many mixed reports about the possibility of Gunn being rehired. With the continued conflicting nature of the reports making it difficult to sort out what exactly Gunn’s true chances were of returning to the studio. After meeting with the Disney executive who made the statement announcing Gunn’s dismissal, he won’t be coming back after all.

Variety has reported that Disney chairman Alan Horn is standing by his original decision to fire Gunn as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, choosing not to rehire him for the film. The decision comes after a meeting between the two that was reportedly civil but failed to change Horn’s mind. The report also notes that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, who wasn’t at the meeting, fully supports the decision.

With Gunn’s chances of returning now settled, its time for everyone to move on to what comes next. As previously reported, Gunn’s script is still likely to be used for the third release, so his story will largely remain. This report does note that a polish of his script is expected to happen after a replacement director is named, so some changes are to be expected.

As for Gunn’s replacement, there’s still no word on who will be taking over. There will be huge pressure on whoever does land the job, but hopefully the cast and fans will embrace the new voice. Once Feige is back in town, Marvel Studios and Disney will continue the director search. The early reports noted trusted MCU names like Taika Waititi, Jon Favreau and the Russo brothers are likely be approached, but none are likee to take the job due to other commitments within the MCU and beyond.

The film was set to start production early 2019. There’s currently no word on if Marvel plans to push that start date back, which could prove to be a difficult and expensive move based on the in-demand cast members, especially if one of them has to grow a moustache. Luckily for Marvel, they can push the film back as far as they want and never officially delay it, seeing as they’ve yet to announce the Phase 4 release slate. Regardless of when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 does finally hit theaters, we now know that Gunn won’t be the film’s director.

What are your thoughts on all this? Are Disney right or are they making a mistake? Who should step in now? Let us know.