'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' Production Put on Hold (Exclusive)

Crewmembers, who were assembling for preproduction, are being dismissed and are free to look for new work.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Photofest
'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' (2017)

The production of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is being put on hold for the time being as Marvel and Disney regroup on the project, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

Sources say that crewmembers, which at this stage were a small group prepping for preproduction, are being dismissed and are free to look for new work.

The Marvel project was originally to have been directed by James Gunn and to have begun principal photography in the winter, either in January or February. The project was crewing up and was to have gone into full preproduction mode in the fall. But Gunn was let go as the director in July conservative personalities resurfaced old tweets of the filmmaker in response to his vocal political posts. While some held out hope that the helmer would be given a reprieve by Disney, a mid-August meeting with studio chairman Alan Horn closed the door on that.

One person characterized the production hold as temporary and more of a "regrouping" as Marvel and Disney look for a filmmaker to take on the third installment of a franchise that has grossed over $1.6 billion and made stars out of Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana.

"The timeline has been pushed out," says a source. Disney never set a release date for Guardians 3.

Marvel and Disney are taking a measured approach in their search for a director — one source says that Thor: Ragnarok helmer Taika Waititi recently had a meeting with Marvel, but it is unclear what project was discussed — and with good reason.

The controversial firing has rankled the cast, which, in an open letter, asked the studio to reinstate Gunn. Bautista, who plays the alien warrior Drax, continued to show his disappointment on social media on Thursday when he tagged Disney in a tweet featuring disturbing clips of Mike Cernovich, one of the conservative figures who led a campaign to get Gunn fired.

Disney had no comment.

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