Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn rehired after being axed by Disney.

Representatives for the Walt Disney Company and Mr Gunn confirmed he had been reinstated as writer-director of the Marvel franchise that he has guided from the start.

Mr Gunn was fired last July over tweets from nearly a decade ago in which he joked about subjects like pedophilia and rape. The director earlier apologized for the tweets, which he called "unfortunate efforts to be provocative".

Disney chairman Alan Horn said Mr Gunn's words were inconsistent with the studio's values, leading to "sever our business relationship with him".

Jame's dismissal was applauded by many but also passionately protested by many as well, including the Guardians of the Galaxy cast, who supported the embattled director in an open letter.

"Although I don't support James Gunn's inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man," actor Chris Pratt said.

In a statement, James said he was "tremendously grateful" for the support he had received in the months since his dismissal.

"I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be," he said.

Mr Gunn added a thank you to Disney and said he was excited to "continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all".

It is still not yet known when the third installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise will go into production.