James Gunn has responded to and confirmed the news that he is indeed returning to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. We recently learned that Disney has had a change of heart and has decided to reinstate him as director of the upcoming sequel. Gunn was unceremoniously fired last July after a series of old, offensive tweets, which were intended as humor, resurfaced online. All these months later and things have come full circle.

The initial report stated that the news had been confirmed by both Marvel and James Gunn's representatives, but it didn't include any actual confirmation from the filmmaker himself. That changed quickly as James Gunn returned to Twitter, after having been a ghost on social media ever since his firing, in order to release a heartfelt statement expressing his gratitude for those who have supported him. Here's what Gunn had to say about it.

"I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months. I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be. I deeply appreciate Disney's decision and I am excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all. I have been, and continue to be incredibly humbled by your love and support. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Love to you all."

In the wake of his initial firing, the entire core cast, especially Dave Bautista, were publically critical of the decision. The cast all penned a letter asking that he be reinstated which, at the time, seemed like it had no effect. Thousands of fans also signed online petitions to try and get James Gunn his job back. Plus, many around Hollywood voiced support for the filmmaker. Peyton Reed, director of Ant-Man and the Wasp, responded to the news by sharing a pic of Gunn, along with a simple statement.

"Welcome back, James."

Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula in the franchise, also took to Twitter with a simple but clear message, saying "We are Groot." The decision came after a series of meetings with Disney Studios head Alan Horn. James Gunn was very sincere in his apology following the incident last year and never tried to shift blame. He took responsibility for his old statements, while also acknowledging his growth as a person in the years since and the lessons he's learned since making these ill-advised statements.

Most importantly, James Gunn never engaged in any illicit actions like the ones described in these old tweets. It was simply a very misguided attempt at humor. This decision, so far, has been met with praise and surprise. One of the most surprising elements is that Gunn will still direct The Suicide Squad for Warner Bros. before jumping back on board for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

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That means, ultimately, we will be waiting a while before this one gets back on track at Marvel Studios. Still, the man who made this franchise special is back in the driver's seat and that's certainly worth waiting for. Be sure to check out the statement from James Gunn's Twitter below, as well as some of the other reactions to his reinstatement.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott