The third installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy series has been put on hold indefinitely.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney and Marvel have put production on hold to regroup on the project after the firing of James Gunn. Gunn — who directed the first two Guardian films — was abruptly let go in July after a series of inappropriate jokes from a decade ago resurfaced on Twitter. Fans were incredibly vocal with their protests and hoped the studios would reconsider, even going as far as to create a petition in his defense. The firing didn’t sit well with the cast, either, who offered their support for Gunn and signed a joint statement asking Disney to rehire him. Ultimately, Disney stood firm in its decision to let the director go, though his original script is still expected to be used for the next film.
As far as production goes, the timeline for the third movie has been “pushed out.” Crew members who had been hired to begin prepping for preproduction this Fall have been dismissed and are free to take other work. Sources told THR that principal photography for the film was supposed to begin in the Winter, but Disney and Marvel are now taking the time to search for a replacement for Gunn. Considering how closely the threequel will be scrutinized when it’s released, it’s probably a good idea that the studios take their time with their selection.