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James Gunn is heading from Marvel to DC.
Gunn has closed a deal to pen the script. At this stage, there is no director deal, but talks could proceed depending on the outcome of the scripting process.
Disney fired Gunn from his Marvel franchise in July after old tweets from 2008 and 2009 resurfaced in which he made insensitive and controversial jokes about topics like rape and pedophillia.
After his firing, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and other Guardians stars signed an open letter asking Disney to reinstate Gunn, while fans started a Change.org petition asking the studio to do the same. But Disney has remained steadfast in its decision.
“The James Gunn decision was brought to me as a unanimous decision of a variety of executives at the studio and I supported it,” Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger recently said to The Hollywood Reporter of Gunn’s firing. He added: “I haven’t second-guessed their decision.”
Warners has been looking to find the right person to tackle a sequel since the original opened in August 2016. The studio had developed takes with original director David Ayer, as well as Gavin O’Connor. It also looked at Mel Gibson and Daniel Espinosa. The project has been in limbo since O’Connor left to focus on a sport drama titled Torrence (formerly known as The Has-Been) that has Ben Affleck attached.
Studio sources say that Gunn is not developing a “sequel” but a brand-new take on the DC property, which features DC villains Deadshot, Harley Quinn, the Joker, Captain Boomerang and Killer Croc, who are forced into the service of the government in exchange for lighter sentences. It is unclear whether or not that means recasting, in part or wholly, the actors.
After the news broke, Ayer tweeted his endorsement of Gunn taking over the Squad. “I think it’s an incredibly brave and smart move by the studio,” he wrote. “James is the right man for the job!”
The Wrap was the first to report the news of Gunn’s involvement.
Oct. 9, 4:05 p.m. Updated to include David Ayer’s tweet.
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