A petition by a fan on change.org to rehire Guardians of The Galaxy director James Gunn for the third installation of the franchise has passed 400,000 signature mark.

Gunn was fired in July after his almost-a-decade-old tweets about rape and paedophilia re-surfaced on the internet. The director even apologized for the comments and tweets, acknowledging that they were in poor taste. The tweets were made years before the release of GOTG, and reportedly they were discussed before Marvel hired him.

Those jokes, along with a few unexplored ones were used against the director after a dispute with ring-wing activists on Twitter. However, Gunn apologized for those tweets publicly saying that they don’t represent the kind of person he is now.

He was fired after Disney issued a notice saying,

“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.”

The third instalment to the Guardians has since been on hold while the studio is still working on it. This petition was organized by Chandler Edwards immediately thereafter who commented, ”

Even the entire cast of the Guardians franchise signed a letter requesting the studio to rehire James Gunn. Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the franchise has been extremely vocal in his support for James Gunn, even threatening to quit the franchise, if Disney doesn’t go along with Gunn’s script for the third film.

“We fully support James Gunn. We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten days to respond in order to think, pray, listen, and discuss,” an open letter from the cast said in part. “In that time, we’ve been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director of Volume 3 as well as discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding him….We are not here to defend his jokes of many years ago but rather to share our experience having spent many years together on set making Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2. The character he has shown in the wake of his firing is consistent with the man he was every day on set, and his apology, now and from years ago when first addressing these remarks, we believe is from the heart, a heart all know, trust, and love. In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever. We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now.”

We still don’t know what the future holds for the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise as many fans don’t wish to see a Guardians film without Gunn. However, the latest report reveals that Disney is most likely going to use Gunn’s first draft as their starting point.

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