James Gunn has been fired as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after a series of old tweets from the filmmaker resurfaced in which he joked about sensitive topics such as pedophilia and rape, Silver Screen Beat has learned.
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement Friday afternoon.
Guardians 3 was expected to begin shooting in Atlanta this fall and was dated for a 2020 release. The film would’ve reunited Gunn with his main cast from the first two Guardians movies including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper.
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” Gunn said in a statement responding to his firing. “I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.”
He continued, “Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.”
Gunn was scheduled to participate in Sony’s San Diego Comic-Con presentation Friday evening, but sources working the event tell Silver Screen Beat that this is no longer the case and that Gunn will not have any type of involvement in the panel.
Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron strike up a hilarious romance in the first ‘Long Shot’ trailer
Ahead of the film’s world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival next month, Lionsgate has released the first trailer for Long Shot, the eagerly awaited romantic comedy starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen from The Night Before and 50/50 director Jonathan Levine.
Long Shot follows Fred Flarsky (Rogen), an unemployed journalist who reunites with his first crush (and former babysitter) Charlotte Field (Theron), one of the most influential women in the world. As she begins eyeing a run for the Presidency, she hires Fred as her speechwriter, making him a fish out of water on her elite team.
However, despite Fred’s unpreparedness for her glamorous lifestyle in the limelight, sparks begin to fly as their unmistakable chemistry leads to a round-the-world romance and a serious of unexpected (and somewhat dangerous) incidents.
In addition to the dynamic duo that is Rogen and Theron, Long Shot‘s incredible ensemble cast also includes the likes of O’Shea Jackson Jr., Alexander Skarsgård, Andy Serkis, Ravi Patel, Randall Park, and June Diane Raphael.
Long Shot will have its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 9 before opening in theaters nationwide on May 3.
You can check out the newly released trailer for the film below.
As the awards season race nears an end, Spike Lee begins to plot his next directorial effort
As Spike Lee’s Oscar campaign for BlacKkKlansman begins to near an end, the legendary director is already beginning to put the pieces together for his highly anticipated next project, which is in talks to be distributed by Netflix.
Per Variety, Lee has tapped Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman to join the ensemble of Da 5 Bloods, a drama which follows five Vietnam veterans who return to the jungle to find their lost innocence.
Delroy Lindo and Jean Reno are also said to be in negotiations to star.
Lee, in addition to scripting the film along with Kevin Willmott, based on an original screenplay by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo, is also producing along with Beatriz Levin, Lloyd Levin, and Jon Kilik.
Sources tell Variety that production on Da 5 Bloods could begin as soon as next month after Lee is done campaigning for BlacKkKlansman in the ongoing awards season race.
BlacKkKlansman, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last May, marked a return to form for Lee, earning the iconic filmmaker multiple Oscar nominations last month, including best picture and best director.
2018 was also a big year for Boseman, who starred in Marvel’s billion-dollar-grossing superhero pic Black Panther, another strong contender in the Oscar race, with nominations for best picture and visual effects.
Academy reveals the four Oscar categories that will be presented during commerical breaks
After announcing last year that select categories will be presented during commercial breaks when the 91st Oscars air on ABC later this month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed today the four categories that will be affected by this unfortunate break with tradition.
In an effort to keep the length of the Oscars telecast to three hours, the Academy says that cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, and live action short will be presented during commercial breaks, edited, and aired later in the broadcast.
“Viewing patterns for the Academy Awards are changing quickly in our current multi-media world, and our show must also evolve to successfully continue promoting motion pictures to a worldwide audience,” Academy president John Bailey wrote in a letter to members. “This has been our core mission since we were established 91 years ago—and it is the same today.”
He added, “The executive committees of six branches generously opted-in to have their awards presented in this slightly edited timeframe for this year’s show, and we selected four. In future years, four to six different categories may be selected for rotation.”
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that an example of what this new format will look like was shown to a number of different branches of the Academy and the reaction, surprisingly enough, seemed to be relatively positive despite initial concerns.
“It is said to have included most of the presentation, minus the winner’s walk to the stage,” writes THR. “The goal, they were told, was also to include the spirit of each winner’s acceptance speech, although the speeches could be edited if they turn into a long list of thank-yous.”
Some members who were shown the demo said that it “provided a respectful acknowledgment of the affected category.”
Final voting for the Oscars will begin on Tuesday, February 12, with the ceremony itself airing live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 24 on ABC.