In an unexpected move, Disney has fired James Gunn, the director of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, over seven-year-old tweets.
Apologising for the remarks on Twitter, Gunn claimed he made the "provocative" tweets when he was interested in edgy and dark humour and no longer ascribes to such jokes.
The move has complicated the Disney schedule, as Gunn was beginning pre-production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 which was expected to be released in 2020. Disney will be looking for a director who can step in at short notice to take on the project. I strongly suspect they are putting some urgent calls in to Taika Waititi right now, whose Thor: Ragnarok aesthetic would make a good fit for the Guardians sub-franchise.
Although Gunn's tweets are clearly unacceptable and inappropriate for the director of a franchise which has a strong appeal to children, it is less clear why Disney have taken action only now, as the tweets have been widely reported on for years, during which time Gunn directed two movies for the company, as well as providing some assistance and advice on other Marvel Cinematic Universe projects.