LOS ANGELES – Disney is filming James Gunn, the creative force behind the "Guardians of the Galaxy" film series, overturning the controversial July decision to fire the filmmaker for offensive lines he wrote on Twitter several years ago.  Mr. Gunn's tweets, which wrote and directed the Marvel superhero movie "Guardians of the Galaxy" in 2014 and made a great following in 2017, contained jokes about pedophilia, AIDS, rape and the September 11, 2001 attacks. Two far-right provocateurs, Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec, highlighted the comments – written between 2009 and 2012 – after Gunn harshly criticized President Trump online.
Walt Disney Studios has revealed the reintegration of Mr. Gunn as director of "Guardians of the Galaxy 3" in an article on Deadline.com, a commercial news site. Disney declined to comment further unless the accuracy of the report was confirmed. In a statement on Twitter, Gunn called himself "incredibly humble" and "tremendously grateful" to those who had supported him in recent months.
"I am learning and will continue to work to be the best human being I can be," he wrote. "I deeply appreciate Disney's decision."
Alan F. Horn, president of Walt Disney Studios, decided to summarize Mr. Gunn – several months ago – after a series of meetings with the director. Mr. Horn, who contacted Mr. Gunn, was impressed by his public apology the day Disney was fired. Gunn has repeatedly taken responsibility for his words, which he called "stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive and certainly not as provocative as I hoped."
"Regardless of how much time has passed," he added, "I understand and accept the business decisions made today."
Mr. Gunn's response was at odds with how other stars reacted in similar situations. Kevin Hart, for example, was initially on the defensive when his previous anti-gay comments on Twitter re-emerged in December after he was named guest of the Academy Awards TV show. Mr. Hart did not apologize at first, but he published an online video in which he said: "Guys, I'm almost 40. If you don't think people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don't know what to tell you. "
Six hours later, he resigned from the Oscar and offered a superficial excuse.  It is not clear to what extent Disney has been affected by the backlash of "Guardian" fans for the ouster of Gunn. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed a petition Change.org which asks Disney to reconsider.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" is a crucial property for Disney. The first two films, starring Chris Pratt as Star-Lord and Zoe Saldana in the role of Gamora, and with fan-favorite creatures such as Groot and Rocket raccoon, grossed about $ 1.6 billion at the global box office. Disney also sells "Guardian" products and counts on an expensive new "Guardians" attraction at Epcot in Florida to sell theme park vacations.
Fans greeted Mr. Gunn's official return to the Marvel universe with euphoria. Mr. Cernovich, for example, was not happy. The extreme right-wing blogger, the author and the YouTube personality wrote on Twitter, "If you think Gunn can get me the repression it hurts me rather than children, you're a sick person and part of the problem."