Photo: Film Frame (Disney)

With the grim inevitability of some kind of magical finger snap of doom, production on Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 has now officially been put on a temporary hold. This is per Deadline, which reports that—in the wake of director James Gunn getting fired from the film by Disney after a bunch of bad-faith right-wing Twitter police dug up some of his old and tasteless jokes—the company has now been forced to shut down early production on the sequel, and send at least some members of its crew home or off to other projects.

Disney has come under heavy criticism for the desire to fire Gunn, not just from the usual host of angry internet people, but also the movie’s cast. (Most notably Dave Bautista, who’s been clearest about expressing how pissed off Gunn’s firing has made him.) The company has yet to name the person who will have to take over the franchise that Gunn functionally built, a move that’s likely to be a tricky PR squeeze, even by the standards of a studio that keeps Ron Howard handy on speed dial. Time being money and all—and the movie’s proposed 2020 release creeping ever closer—they’re going to have to start making some decisions pretty soon if they want to get the Guardians dancing on schedule again.

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