James Gunn fired as director of 'Guardians 3' - Silver Screen Beat
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Disney fires James Gunn as director of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ after old tweets resurface

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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.

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‘The Curse of La Llorona’ leads sluggish Easter weekend with $25 million at the box office

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Ahead of what is almost certainly going to be a record-breaking opening weekend for Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, New Line’s horror pic The Curse of La Llorona managed to conjure up a solid $11.8 million from 3,372 theaters on Friday, putting it on track for an overall $25 million debut.

La Llorona, which comes courtesy of the same team behind the Conjuring franchise, including producer James Wan, is leading what appears to be the slowest Easter weekend since 2005, with many studios holding onto their releases until after Endgame debuts on April 26.

Some box office analysts say that the lackluster weekend can be credited to the possibility that many moviegoers may curb their movie ticket spending in the weekend prior to a big release like Endgame, which smashed pre-sale ticket records earlier this month.

While it seems evident that La Llorona is doomed to get lost in the superhero movie hype next weekend, the horror film, produced for a modest $9 million, will have already made back its budget by the end of the holiday weekend, so it’s already a win for New Line/Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. is also holding strong in second place at the box office this weekend with the critically acclaimed superhero pic Shazam! The film, backed by strong reviews and word of mouth, collected $6.2 million from 4,183 locations on Friday and is on track for a $17.2 million haul by Sunday.

Placing third is Fox’s faith-based drama Breakthrough, which opened on Wednesday and is expected to bring in more than $10 million over the holiday weekend, putting its five-day total around the $14 million mark.

Disney’s nature documentary Penguins also opened Wednesday and is looking to bring in $3.5 million over the course of the weekend after grossing $901,000 from 1,815 theaters on Friday.

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Clint Eastwood is in talks once again to direct ‘The Ballad of Richard Jewell’ for Disney-Fox

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Four months after the release of his last film The Mule, 88-year-old Clint Eastwood has already set his sights on a new project to tackle: The Ballad of Richard Jewell, a film that once had the likes of Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio attached to star.

While both Hill and DiCaprio are now no longer a part of the cast, Deadline reports that the duo will be staying on board as producers and Eastwood will begin assembling a new cast over the course of the next few months in hopes that he can begin production this summer.

Based on the 1997 Vanity Fair article of the same name, The Ballad of Richard Jewell is based on the true story of a security guard who was incorrectly identified by the media as the F.B.I.’s prime suspect in the Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Eastwood, who was previously attached to direct the film back in 2015 before ultimately parting ways with the project, will be working from a script written by Billy Ray, whose most recent work includes Ang-Lee’s Gemini Man and Tim Miller’s Terminator reboot.

DiCaprio is producing under his Appian Way banner along with Jennifer Davisson, with Misher Film’s Kevin Misher, Andy Berman, and Hill also serving as producers. Mike Ireland is overseeing the production of the film for Disney-Fox.

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Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham team-up against Idris Elba in new ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ trailer

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Universal Pictures has released a new trailer for Hobbs & Shaw, the upcoming Fast & Furious spinoff which finds Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham having to team-up to take down a villainous Idris Elba before he wipes out humanity as we know it.

Directed by David Leitch, the film follows Hobbs (Johnson), a loyal agent of America’s Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Statham), a former British military elite operative, as they embark on a mission to stop the cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Elba), who has gained control of an insidious bio-threat.

Along the way, they’ll need help from the brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent who just happens to be Shaw’s sister (Vanessa Kirby), as well as Hobbs’ family, who seems to know a thing or two when it comes to fighting, judging by some of the footage showcased in the trailer.

Chris Morgan, the Fast & Furious franchise veteran who has written each and every installment to date since 2006’s Tokyo Drift, returns to write this one, in addition to producing along with Johnson, Statham, and Hiram Garcia.

Hobbs & Shaw also stars Eiza Gonzalez, Helen Mirren, Eddie Marsan, Roman Reigns, Cliff Curtis, Josh Mauga, and John Tui, and will hit theaters on August 2.

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