James Gunn reportedly a hot commodity among rival studios after Disney firing; his Guardians 3 script still in play: Report

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Aug 8, 2018, 2:46 PM EDT

Disney's termination of James Gunn has reportedly opened up a lot of doors in Hollywood for the filmmaker, writes The Hollywood Reporter. While still negotiating his departure from the House of Mouse (particularly Marvel Studios), he can't take up any other offers, but several big players (both producers and studio executives) in the industry have voiced their desire to bring him over to their side. 

"I’d work with him in a heartbeat," said one anonymous studio executive. Another added, “I’ve been advised that we can’t bring anything to him until the Disney matter is 100 percent resolved." 

Right now, Gunn's exit is being negotiated by his talent agency UTA and his attorney Andrew Hurwitz. It's a complicated situation, since Gunn did not breach his contact, having written the offending tweets years before he signed with Marvel. Despite a rumor circulating online today, Disney will still move forward with Gunn's screenplay for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. All in all, he could end up netting between $7-$10 million, or possibly higher, while also being allowed to commit to another studio right away.

Gunn was removed as director of Guardians Vol 3. on July 20 when his old tweets, cracking jokes about rape and pedophilia, were unearthed. He formally apologized via Twitter, but Disney, enforcing its company-wide, family-friendly high standard, severed all ties with Gunn.

In the time since the studio announced its decision, celebrities like Michael Rooker, Selma Blair, Mike Colter, Rob Liefeld, Glenn CloseJim Starlin, Kurt Russell, Dave Bautista, and David Hasselhoff have voiced their support for the writer/director; Blair and Rooker even left Twitter in protest over the matter. The entire Guardians cast also released an open letter, urging Disney to rehire Gunn while a fan petition asking for the same result has achieved nearly 400,000 signatures. 

“Most people feel his comments were coming out of his brand of comedy [at the time he made them],” said a third, unnamed studio exec. “Having an inappropriate sense of humor shouldn’t be a crime.”

While a report from last week stated that it was unlikely for Disney to bring the director back, THR has revealed that some sources believe that it is still possible for Gunn to return in some way. The ongoing talks with Marvel could still allow him to develop and direct another movie franchise for them.