James Gunn in talks to take on ‘Suicide Squad 2’

“Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn is in talks to write “Suicide Squad 2” for DC and Warner Bros.

A rep for the studio said Tuesday that Gunn has not been signed to direct the movie.

Gunn directed the first two “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, but was fired from the franchise this summer due to the re-emergence of old, offensive tweets. He’d been set to appear on a panel to discuss Sony’s “BrightBurn” horror project at San Diego Comic-Con in July, but his appearance was canceled after the Disney firing.

Sony announced Monday that it moved Gunn’s “BrightBurn” back from Nov. 30 to May 24, 2019 — the start of the Memorial Day weekend. Gunn produced the project with The H Collective. “BrightBurn” stars Elizabeth Banks, Jackson Dunn, David Denman, Meredith Hagner, and Matt Jones.

The first “Suicide Squad” starred Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, and Cara Delevingne. Despite downbeat reviews, the movie earned nearly $750 million worldwide on a $175 million budget. The film was written and directed by David Ayer in a story of imprisoned supervillains executing black ops missions to save the world in exchange for reduced sentences.

Gunn has apologized for the tweets, which were posted between 2008 and 2012. The “Guardians of the Galaxy” cast issued a collective statement of support for Gunn, but Disney executives stood firm on the dismissal.

One of Gunn’s staunchest supporters, Dave Bautista, who played Drax the Destroyer in the “Guardians” movies, tweeted on Tuesday that he wanted to join “Suicide Squad 2” to work with Gunn again.

The two “Guardians” films, released in 2014 and 2017, were strong performers for Disney and Marvel, hauling a combined $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office. In addition to directing, Gunn teamed with Nicole Perlman on the script for the first, which was nominated for a Writers Guild Award, and was the only credited writer on the second. Both movies raised Gunn’s stock as they underlined his ability to make popcorn movies with multiple characters.

The hiring by Warner Bros. shows that Gunn remains a significant player in the superhero world, despite the Disney firing, and that Warner Bros. is willing to gamble in its efforts to challenge Disney-Marvel’s record of unbroken success in that superhero realm.

News about Gunn was first reported by The Wrap.

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'Guardians of the Galaxy' director James Gunn
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'Guardians of the Galaxy' director James Gunn
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 25, 2017: In this handout photo provided by Disney Resorts, director James Gunn attends the grand opening of Guardians of The Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! attraction on May 25, 2017 at Disneys California Adventure in Disneyland in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - DECEMBER 18: Film director James Gunn is seen upon arrival at Haneda Airport on December 18, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/GC Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 25: James Gunn arrives at the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Ant-Man And The Wasp' on June 25, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: James Gunn attends the premiere of Disney And Marvel's 'Ant-Man And The Wasp' on June 25, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10: James Gunn attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Thor: Ragnarok' - Arrivals on October 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 13: Film director James Gunn attends a keynote discussion about building worlds across entertainment mediums during the Electronic Entertainment Expo E3 coliseum at the Novo LA Live on June 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 04: Director James Gunn and actress/model Jennifer Holland at the El Capitan Theatre Hosts Screening Of Disney And Marvel Studios' 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2' held at El Capitan Theatre on May 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 04: Writer / Director / Producer James Gunn attends the fan screening of Disney and Marvel Studios 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol1. ' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' at the El Capitain Theater on May 4th, 2017 in Los Angeles, Californial (Photo by Brandon Williams/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - APRIL 27, 2017: American film director James Gunn speaks at a press conference to promote his Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movie. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24: James Gunn attends the European Gala Screening of 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' at Eventim Apollo on April 24, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Joe Maher/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24: (L-R) Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Pom Klementieff, Chris Pratt, Kurt Russell, Karen Gillan, James Gunn and Michael Rooker attend the UK screening of 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' at Eventim Apollo on April 24, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24: Director James Gunn (R) and guest attend the UK screening of 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' at Eventim Apollo on April 24, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 21: Writer/director James Gunn (L) and actor Chris Pratt at the Chris Pratt Walk Of Fame Star Ceremony on April 21, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 20: Director James Gunn at the 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' Press Conference at the London Hotel on April 20, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)
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