Horn previously released a statement in which he detailed the reasons for sacking the director, saying: "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'.
While it's still possible that we could see James Gunn return to Marvel at some point down the road, this report from Variety makes it seem incredibly unlikely. The so-called joke tweets, about pedophilia and rape, were recently resurfaced by alt-right agitators. Gunn's script from the film will reportedly still be used to some degree, dependent on the director Marvel chooses to hire.
However, despite their petition and open letter calling him to be brought back, talks between Disney and Gunn resulted in the decision a new director would be found.
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Once again, this especially convoluted narrative might yet still yield surprises, be they to the delight or chagrin of fans of the Guardians movies and supporters of Gunn. Feige more than realized this and chose to side with Disney in order to save the image of Marvel Studios as well.
Efforts to get Disney to reappoint James Gunn as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 have seemingly fallen on deaf ears. The publication reported that Gunn and his representatives from UTA had a meeting with studio executives that was "civil and professional".
With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 originally scheduled to start filming in January 2019, starting from scratch with the script would involve significant delays, not only jeopardizing the sequel's production window but also its place on Marvel's Phase Four slate.