Exclusive: Amazon says James Gunn 'Starsky and Hutch' reboot is off

Daniel Roberts
Senior Writer

Last weekend, Disney fired “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn over offensive tweets from 2009 to 2012 that recently resurfaced.

Most news coverage of his firing has also mentioned that while Gunn will no longer direct “Guardians of the Galaxy 3” for Disney, he is still set to direct a “Starsky and Hutch” reboot series for Amazon Studios.

Indeed, last August, Amazon bought the rights to the Sony TV series in development, with a “script-to-series commitment,” as Deadline, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, and many others reported at the time. On Tuesday, the UK’s Metro newspaper asked whether Gunn will still direct the project for Amazon in the wake of his Disney firing.

The answer is no.

A spokesperson for Amazon Studios tells Yahoo Finance that Amazon backed out of the project months ago—before Gunn’s current scandal.

We passed on the project completely months ago,” says the spokesperson. “There was no statement. This is the same for any other project we do not move forward with.”

Director James Gunn at a discussion during the E3 Expo on June 13, 2017, in Los Angeles, Calif. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Amazon Studios declined to clarify further on exactly when and why it backed out of the project. It is unclear whether the series could still get made by a different distributor; Yahoo Finance has reached out to Sony TV for comment.

Gunn has publicly apologized for the tweets, and said, “I understand and accept the business decisions taken” by Disney. But many cast members of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise have spoken out in Gunn’s defense.

Daniel Roberts covers the media business at Yahoo Finance. He hosts the podcast and video series Sportsbook and the daily show Business + Coffee. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite

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