Hey folks, Precious Roy here with a sad end to the James Gunn issue: Variety reports that Disney are sticking by their decision to remove Gunn as the director of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 3. Gunn met with Disney studio chairman Alan Horn after an outpouring of support from fans and from the entire GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY cast, but Horn stood by his decision to fire Gunn.
I've read several tweets from last night about the Variety article, and one of my favorite critics, Scott Wampler, talked about how pointless a boycott is in the light of the Disney acquisition of Fox:
Guys I know we’re all mad about the Gunn thing but I gotta tell ya: I don’t think a Disney boycott is gonna help ya here. Do you understand how much shit Disney owns? Like more than half.— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) August 16, 2018
On this one point, I think I disagree with Wampler. This is not a powerful Disney that can't be swayed by boycott. This is Disney showing itself to be weak and on the run from Trump America. This is antithetical to everything superheroes are about, and I'm struck that Disney thinks Marvel can just keep their head down and things will be okay once Gunn is gone.
Sunday, I was rewatching THE DARK KNIGHT, and I was struck by the prescience of the press conference scene, about how much it speaks to the events surrounding James Gunn's departure.
To paraphrase Harvey Dent... James Gunn was wrong for posting those tweets. But that's not why Disney is demanding his firing. They're doing it because they're scared, by the thought of taking some heat from the Alt-Right. They've been happy to let Gunn talk about Jackson Pollack stains all over The Milano until now... Gunn answered for what he did, apologized, and had the character to not lie about it. Disney should be rewarding that behavior... that character. But instead, Disney has chosen to swerve on Cernovich, a guy who wants to burn down America because a black man made a fine President.
Gunn will go on to make other films, now, and good luck to him in the future. Gunn is certainly not irreplaceable, and the common reference, Taika Waititi, would make a great choice for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 3. Marvel will hire someone excellent to direct Gunn's script, of that I am sure. Life will go on, both in the MCU, and in America.
But this is a sad day for the Superhero genre, and I suspect that, many years from now as we look back on the events of 2018 and the effect they had on popular culture, Gunn's firing will be one of the milestones in how Superheroes will fall out of vogue, as Westerns once did.
Superhero films became popular after 9/11 because we needed larger-than-life heroes to help us handle the crisis of being badly hurt. There is more to a superhero than costumes, revenge fantasies, and violence. There are ideas about doing what is right, even when it is the difficult choice. As Steve Rogers said in the comics, and Sharon Carter said in the MCU, "No... YOU move." Faced with a difficult choice, Disney went the easy way and proved that people like Cernovich have power over them.
Read the Variety article here.
-- Precious Roy