James Gunn is usually Hired Back to Helm ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’

LOS ANGELES — Disney is usually taking back James Gunn, the creative force behind its “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie franchise, reversing its contentious decision in July to fire the filmmaker for offensive jokes he wrote on Twitter several years ago.

The tweets by Mr. Gunn, who wrote along with directed the Marvel superhero film “Guardians of the Galaxy” in 2014 along with delivered a smash sequel in 2017, contained jokes about pedophilia, AIDS, rape along with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Two far-right provocateurs, Mike Cernovich along with Jack Posobiec, threw a spotlight on the comments — written between 2009 along with 2012 — after Mr. Gunn harshly criticized President Trump online.

Disney executives seemed to acknowledge on Friday which they made a misstep of their own in almost immediately firing Mr. Gunn from the aftermath: At the time, “Guardians” cast members condemned the decision as an overreaction to the “mob mentality” of the internet. If nothing else, the reversal reflects the challenges which Hollywood studios face as they contend with online furors over past behavior in response to the #MeToo along with Time’s Up movements, all while trying to protect billion-dollar film properties.

Walt Disney Studios revealed Mr. Gunn’s reinstatement as the director of “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” in an article on Deadline.com, a trade news site. Disney declined to comment further, except to confirm the report’s accuracy. In a statement on Twitter, Mr. Gunn called himself “incredibly humbled” along with “tremendously grateful” to those who had supported him in recent months.

“I am always learning along with will continue to work at being the best human being I can be,” he wrote. “I deeply appreciate Disney’s decision.”

Alan F. Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, decided to rehire Mr. Gunn — several months ago — after a series of meetings with the director. Mr. Horn, who reached out to Mr. Gunn, had been impressed with his public apology on the day Disney fired him. Mr. Gunn repeatedly took responsibility for his words, which he called “stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive along with certainly not provocative like I had hoped.”

“Regardless of how much time has passed,” he had added, “I understand along with accept the business decisions taken today.”

Mr. Gunn’s response stood in contrast to how some other stars have reacted in similar situations. Kevin Hart, for instance, was initially defensive when his past anti-gay comments on Twitter resurfaced in December after he was named host of the Academy Awards telecast. Mr. Hart did not apologize at first, instead posting a video online in which he said: “Guys, I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe which people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you.”