Q13 FOX Season of Giving

Director James Gunn fired from ‘Guardians 3’ over old tweets

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 21: Director James Gunn attends The World Premiere of Marvel?s epic space adventure ?Guardians of the Galaxy,? directed by James Gunn and presented in Dolby 3D and Dolby Atmos at the Dolby Theatre. July 21, 2014 Hollywood, CA (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — James Gunn was fired Friday as director of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” because of old tweets that recently emerged where he joked about subjects like pedophilia and rape.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn said in a statement that the tweets are indefensible, and the studio has severed ties with Gunn.

Gunn has been writer and director of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise from the start, taking an obscure Marvel Comics title about a group of misfits and turning it into two huge hits that together totaled more than $1.5 billion in global box office.

Gunn on Thursday sent several tweets saying he was sorry for trying in the past to get laughs through shock value.

His publicists did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The “Guardians” franchise stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and features the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.