Nearly eight months after firing James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Disney has suddenly changed its mind.
Gunn, who was removed from the Marvel sequel in July 2018 when offensive jokes he made on Twitter years earlier resurfaced, has been rehired to direct the movie, reported Deadlineand The Hollywood Reporter on Friday.
This is jaw-dropping news for a number of reasons, one being that Gunn had previously been set to write and direct The Suicide Squad for Marvel Studios' competitor, DC, which seemed to close the door on any potential return to Vol. 3. Even before that, though, Disney had shown no signs that it was considering a reversal, with CEO Bob Iger telling the Reporter in September that he has never "second-guessed" the decision.
But Disney had faced criticism for its move, especially considering the tweets were dug up by far-right personality Mike Cernovich because Gunn is a vocal critic of President Trump. The cast of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies spoke out against the decision at the time, saying in an open letter that "we hope Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassinations and stop weaponizing mob mentality."
Strangely, Deadline reports that the decision to bring Gunn back was made "months ago." Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn reportedly met with Gunn several times and was "persuaded" by his apology; Gunn had said that his old tweets were "totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative" and that he has "regretted them for many years since."
The plan is now for Gunn to work on both The Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the Reporter says, meaning he'll be making extremely similar comic book films for competing studios back-to-back. DC's film will reportedly come first, and it's set for release in 2021. Brendan Morrow
In a phone call last month, President Trump offered his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, a White House gig, The Daily Beast reports. The job was a senior post in the Office of Public Liaison, The Daily Beast reports, but Lewandowski ultimately decided that working in that office was "beneath him."
Lewandowski was fired by the Trump campaign in June 2016 and was accused of assaulting a reporter and frequently losing his temper with campaign staff during his tenure as campaign manager. Although he "strongly" considered accepting Trump's offer, per The Daily Beast, Lewandowski apparently concluded that he deserved more than a position in the Office of Public Liaison, which focuses on interest-group outreach, and reportedly told an associate that the position was "chump change."
The offer reportedly came amid speculation that the president wants more familiar faces and Trump loyalists in the White House, as Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation heats up and senators from within his party increasingly criticize him. Still, one White House official told The Daily Beast that when they heard Trump was apparently considering welcoming Lewandowski to the administration, "I just kept thinking, 'Please, God above, let this not happen.'"
The White House would neither confirm nor deny to The Daily Beast that Lewandowski had been offered a job, and Lewandowski did not respond to requests for comment. This wouldn't be the first time that Trump has longed for the return of one of his former aides, though: In May, The Daily Beast also reported that the president felt "really, really, really bad" about firing former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and wanted to bring him back to the White House — against the wishes of his lawyers — once the FBI finished its investigation of Flynn. Kelly O'Meara Morales