The production of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is being put on hold for the time being as Marvel and Disney regroup on the project.
Sources say that crew members, at this stage, a small group that was prepping for preproduction, are being dismissed and are free to look for new work.
The Marvel project was originally to have been directed by James Gunn and was to have begun principal photography in the winter, either in January or February. The project was crewing up and was to have gone into full preproduction mode in the fall.
But Gunn was let go as the director in July when old tweets were resurfaced in response to his vocal political posts. While some held out hope that the director would be given a reprieve by Disney, a mid-August meeting with Disney chairman Alan Horn closed the door on that.
One person characterised the production hold as temporary and more of a "regrouping" as Marvel and Disney look for a filmmaker to take on the third installment of a franchise that has grossed over $1.6 billion and made stars out of Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana.
"The timeline has been pushed out," says a source. Disney never set a release date for Guardians 3.
Marvel and Disney are taking a measured approach in their search for a filmmaker — one source says that Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi recently had a meeting with Marvel, but it is unclear what project was discussed — and with good reason, said Hollywood Reporter.
The controversial firing has rankled the cast, which, in an open letter, asked the studio to reinstate Gunn. Bautista, who plays the alien warrior Drax, continued to show his disappointment on social media on Thursday when he tagged Disney in a tweet featuring disturbing clips of Mike Cernovich, one of the conservative figures who led a campaign to get Gunn fired.
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