Despite the best efforts of a widely-signed petition and an open letter from the cast, director James Gunn will not be returning to direct the next film in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Back in July, Disney fired the director after offensive old Tweets that covered 9/11 and rape resurfaced. Now, the Hollywood Reporter has been informed that production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has stopped.

According to their sources, crew members working on the film "are being dismissed and are free to look for new work." One individual said the production hold is temporary and can be considered more of a "regrouping" as Marvel and Disney search for a new filmmaker to helm the popular franchise that has grossed over $1.6 billion. "The timeline has been pushed out," says a source.

The project was originally supposed to start principal photography in January or February, with full preproduction starting this fall. The film's tentative release date was said to be sometime in 2020, but with the current production halt, this may no longer be the case. Stay tuned for more as the story develops.

In related news, the alternate ending of 'Avengers: Infinity War' is even darker than the original.

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