James Gunn

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James Gunn fired as 'Guardians of the Galaxy 3' director after 'indefensible' tweets resurface

July 22, 2018 - 9:20 am
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By Sandra Gonzalez and Brian Lowry

(CNN) -- Disney has parted ways with director James Gunn after a number of what the studio called "indefensible" tweets he wrote years ago resurfaced.

"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, said in a statement obtained by CNN.

Gunn had come under fire in recent days after his comments, which made references to pedophilia and molestation, came to light.

On Thursday, Gunn acknowledged the attention his previous social media comments were getting in a series of tweets.

A representative for Gunn has not returned CNN's request for further comment.

After working in low-budget filmmaking (including a stint at Troma Studios), Gunn made his directing debut in 2006 with "Slither," followed by the superhero spoof, "Super."

He was considered a somewhat unorthodox choice when Marvel tapped him to direct "Guardians of the Galaxy," but the movie garnered critical acclaim and became a major hit. The movie and its sequel -- which he also wrote and directed -- have grossed more than $1.6 billion worldwide.

In addition to the third "Guardians," it was announced last year that Gunn was working on a revival of the TV show "Starsky and Hutch" for Amazon.

As recently as last week, Gunn had been teasing other future projects, including an announcement set to be made at the same time as the Sony Pictures panel on Friday evening at San Diego Comic-Con on the convention's biggest stage -- Hall H.

Cryptically, Gunn wrote in a Facebook post that the announcement would be "something dark, sweet, and special."

Gunn's appearance was never confirmed by Sony.

A studio insider told CNN that Gunn was not expected to be part of the panel as of Friday afternoon.

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