The studio released Gunn from the franchise after a series of decade-old tweets that joked about rape and pedophilia-jokes that the director had previously discussed and apologized for. Unfortunately, it was later revealed that Disney and Marvel chose to stand by the initial call and would instead go on to look for someone to take over directing duties - while still using Gunn's script.
Per a report by industry bible THR, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3" is officially on hold with pre-production effectively halted after crew members who were assembling for the movie were apparently told that they were free to look for other work.
Ever since Disney cut ties with Guardians of the Galaxy writer and director James Gunn, there has been an outpouring of support for Gunn.
The project was originally supposed to start principal photography in January or February, with full preproduction starting this fall. Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana have become major stars while Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan are increasingly in demand in Hollywood.
Although the Hollywood Reporter says one source categorises the hold as "temporary" and a "regrouping", the logistics of the situation mean fans should not look to a 2020 release date any more with any confidence. Who will replace him?
Disney must find a new director, decide on the plot and script and then lock in a cast with busy schedules.
The film's cast, as well as many other people in the industry, have spoken out about the precedent that this sets for the studio of firing someone for things they did before being hired.