SAN DIEGO, CA — Hours after James Gunn was fired from Walt Disney Studios, Sony remained tight-lipped about him on Friday evening during its San Diego Comic-Con presentation, despite the fact he was supposed to be part of the panel.
On Tuesday, Gunn tweeted out an ominous photo with a symbol and the words “Hall H Friday 6:15 P.M.” Many fans speculated the symbol in the photo was either from Grant Morrison’s comic “Nameless” or a Japanese manga series called “Berserk.”
Sony began its presentation with the cast and crew of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and followed with Tom Hardy and the cast of “Venom,” but Gunn was nowhere to be seen.
Walt Disney Studios, which owns Marvel, announced it was cutting ties with Gunn, a vocal critic of President Trump, after a number of his offensive, years-old tweets began circulating among conservative writers and activists earlier in the week.
“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.
In one of the more offensive tweets, Gunn wrote: “I’m doing a big Hollywood film adaptation of The Giving Tree with a happy ending – the tree grows back and gives the kid a b—job.”
In another, he wrote, “The Expendables was so manly I f—ked the s—t out of the little p—y boy next to me! The boys ARE back in town!”
Prior to the announcement of his firing, Gunn took to Twitter on Thursday night to apologize for his “outrageous and taboo” comments and explain that he had changed since the tweets were posted between 2008 and 2011.
“Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor,” he tweeted.
He also stressed repeatedly that while he had in fact written the tweets, he did not actually mean them.
Gunn co-wrote and directed the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” film in 2014. Although based on one of Marvel’s less recognizable properties, the movie was a massive financial success, making nearly $775 million at the box office.
Its sequel, released in May of last year, was even more successful, making over $860 million.
Gunn had been working on the script for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which was expected to be released in 2020.
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