In the last few weeks, Hollywood has not stopped buzzing about the status of the relationship between James Gunn and Marvel Studios' upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. It was officially announced late last month that the filmmaker would no longer be directing the blockbuster - but what has remained up in the air is the status of the script that Gunn has already written for the movie. On that front, we don't have any kind of official statement from the studio, but according to a new report, the company does want to keep the existing script in play.
This update comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter, which notes that the negotiations between James Gunn and Disney are still underway, and, according to sources, that the status of the script is a topic of discussion. The trade says that the talks primarily center around the filmmaker's exit settlement, and while the full details are unclear, the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 script is reportedly something that Disney is interested in holding on to and using.
This is a particularly notable detail if you've been paying attention to the day-to-day of this whole affair. In the last week, Dave Bautista - who has not minced words in his support of James Gunn - went on the record saying that he would find a way out of his Marvel contract if the filmmaker's script isn't used for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. This surely has to be an element that Disney is factoring into their moves going forward, as losing Bautista would be a big deal. Not only is Drax The Destroyer an immensely popular character, but being forced to recast him would leave the developing project with an unignorable scar and constant reminder to fans of the behind-the-scenes controversy.
As for the script itself, it's not hard to imagine why Disney would want to hold on to and utilize the work that James Gunn has already done for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. They've made it clear that they won't keep him on as the director, but there is also no ignoring the auteur imprint that he has left on the previous two installments of the series. Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Nebula and Mantis wouldn't be who they are on the big screen without Gunn's particular sensibilities and style, and it's in Disney's best interest to have the next film maintain the tonal continuity - even if another filmmaker is brought on-board to execute it (admittedly a pretty thankless job). At this point Disney should be looking at the longview, and making sure that this whole mess is as invisible as possible when audiences are watching the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy 50 years from now, and their best option within that perspective is using Gunn's screenplay.
We won't really know anything for sure until we get official statements from Disney, Marvel and James Gunn, and those could still be weeks away for all we know. Obviously we'll be keeping a close eye on the whole situation, so stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all the latest information.