Ever since James Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been wondering just who will take over the director’s chair. After the smashing success of Thor: Ragnarok, many have seen Taika Watiti as the “go to” director for Marvel’s next cosmic installment.
However, Waititi was firm that he will not be involved in the third Guardians movie. “I’m not doing that movie, but I’m hanging out with them,” Waititi explained during the What We Do In Shadows panel of the Television Critics Association press tour. “I’m still hanging out with those guys and talking about new stuff. What might be yet, but yeah, I want to do another [Marvel] movie.”
As for why Waititi won’t take over for the next Guardians installment, it’s all out of respect for Gunn’s previous work. “For me, that’s James’s,” Waititi continued. “Those are James’s films. Going into something like that which has got his stuff all over it would feel like going in someone’s house and going, ‘Hey! I’m your new dad, and this is how we make peanut butter sandwiches now!’ It just feels kind of awkward. I just wouldn’t know how to follow up those two films because those are his babies.”
During the summer of 2018, Gunn was fired by Disney from GotG Vol. 3 after old tweets from the director resurfaced. These were jokes about topics like pedophilia and rape, and Disney wanted to distance themselves from him.
The controversy didn’t end there, however, as the cast wrote a joint letter standing behind Gunn, in hopes he would be rehired. It never happened, though, and Gunn is currently writing the script for the Suicide Squad reboot at Warner Bros. and is in negotiations to direct.
As for Waititi, he’s currently directing the upcoming Star Wars series The Mandalorian, and in post-production for the FX series What We Do In Shadows–based on the mockumentary of the same name–which comes to the network on March 27.