James Gunn — the director of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies — is moving across the comic store aisle to Marvel’s biggest cinematic superhero rival, DC, to write the script for “the next installment in the Suicide Squad franchise,” according to a report from Polygon.
The news comes after Disney fired Gunn ahead of the production launch for his planned movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, in a controversial series of events that saw a number of offensive jokes that Gunn had made on Twitter in 2009 and 2010 resurfaced by right-wing “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich. Despite considerable backlash from fans and almost the entire Guardians cast asking that Gunn be reinstated to the project, Disney refused to change its position, and production on the upcoming Marvel sequel has been put on hold indefinitely.
Gunn is only confirmed to be writing the sequel so far, but io9 reports that he may be in talks to direct, too. Either way, it’s a big win for DC and its parent company, Warner Bros. Many people considered DC’s first Suicide Squad movie, a garbled film that came out of a troubled production and editing process, to be DC’s effort at capturing the aesthetic and financial success of Gunn’s superhero film. And what better way to achieve that in a sequel by having the original architect join Suicide Squad 2?