(This article is a follow-up to an earlier one I penned about the fan’s predicament, which you can find right here.)
Disney CEO Bob Iger had been on vacation when James Gunn was fired from his role as director of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, which gave some hope to fans that maybe there was some chance that the decision would be reversed once Iger made it back to the office. I personally like to think ol’ Bob likes to slap on a fake mustache and baseball cap so he can vacation at Universal Studios Orlando, but that might be a stretch, and certainly in conflict with his company. When the CEO did make it back to Mickey’s top secret headquarters, it became clear that any hope of reinstatement for Gunn was lost.
With the studio digging their heels and standing their ground, I would like to turn the discussion from “How could you?” to “What’s your next move?” It’s clear that James’s vision empowered and defined the Guardians series, and selecting a successor might prove quite the creative challenge. Convincing fans to accept that successor could be a greater challenge still. While I would love to craft a list of directors to take over the helm for Gunn, this particular piece will stay grounded in reality. Or, at least as grounded as a story with a talking raccoon and “Vin Treesel” can be.
Movie news for the last few weeks have pivoted from the James Gunn firing, to Venom saying “turd”, and back to James Gunn’s firing. Now that the decision seems to be cemented in Mickey’s ledgerbook, it’s time for Disney Studios and fans of the series to decide how to go forward.
A long time ago, in a brick double-wide a mere 40 meters outside the city of Cincinnati boundary, I first saw The Empire Strikes Back with limited commercial interruption on Fox 19 while Dad slept on the couch (his Sunday tradition). The pew-pews of the blasters, the swagger of Lando’s cape, the unrelated advertisements for McCluskey Automotives. I was hooked from that moment. I would go on to break several plastic lightsabers and overplay two Lego Star Wars games before reaching adulthood, all while taking in each movie with enough repeat viewings and overdue library VHS charges to constitute parental concern for childhood mediocrity. To even try to rank them is so hard, if only because I legitimately enjoy all but one of them (foreshadowing). Still, each one up the list just barely edges out the others in a cinematic podrace of funky sci-fi films.
Listen, I know a Marvel list might seem a little overdone at this point, but we swear, this is the most definitive, objective list Joe could come up with. Which is to say, it's still pretty personal and opinionated. Either way, have fun!