The Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Comics rule the superhero genre. But it’s not often that the same person is involved with both companies. That is, until a major controversy forced director, James Gunn to switch teams.
What effect will this have on the industry? Could it create extra competition between movies? Fans believe they know what to expect.
The James Gunn controversy
In 2018, Gunn, who had directed Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, was fired from Disney and the MCU. Superhero fans loved his work on the Guardian’s franchise, but when comments regarding sexual assault, pedophilia, AIDS, and the holocaust surfaced on the director’s Twitter feed, many weren’t impressed.
According to Newsweek, the offensive tweets were posted in 2009 and include statements like, “I like it when little boys touch me in my silly place,” and “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’”
Gunn’s statements surfaced after he engaged in a heated online debate over politics. In response, some users dug into his Twitter feed, found the offensive statements made years before, and reposted them for the world to see.
After the distasteful tweets were discovered, Gunn posted a long explanation on Twitter for his behavior, which began with the following statement:
“Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.”
James Gunn goes from MCU to DC
At the time, Gunn’s explanation wasn’t enough to save his relationship with Disney and the MCU. He was immediately cut from the Guardians franchise, and the chairman of Walt Disney Studios, Alan Horn, released a statement rejecting Gunn’s words.
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” Horn said.
However, Gunn didn’t stay down for long. After the fall out with MCU, he was approached by DC Comics with an offer to direct The Suicide Squad. It’s unusual for a director to jump franchises so quickly, but Gunn was excited about the opportunity.
“This has been, truly, the greatest, most exciting journey of my life, making this film,” Gunn said about directing The Suicide Squad, during a video released for DC FanDome, according to ComicBook.com.
From there, things only got better for Gunn. Just eight months after he was fired from MCU, they rehired him to complete the Guardians franchise by making Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Now, Gunn is one of the only people to be involved with both superhero studios at the same time.
Fans react to James Gunn working for both MCU and DC
Without the controversy surrounding Gunn’s tweets, he probably wouldn’t have been offered the job with DC on The Suicide Squad. Fans realize they benefit from the situation because they expect Gunn to do great work for both franchises.
“I’m glad the whole thing happened… we get his Suicide Squad movie, and we still get to see his version of Guardians 3,” one fan wrote on Reddit during a discussion of the situation on Reddit.
So far, viewers have been really impressed with Gunn’s work on the first two Guardian movies, and so they assume both Vol. 3 and The Suicide Squad will be fantastic.
“Best of both worlds for sure. I’m so pumped for both,” another fan wrote on Reddit. “Guardians has a chance of dethroning Captain America as my favorite Marvel trilogy if they stick the landing on this last one…”
Others seem to realize that Gunn working for DC causes some major competition for MCU. “Too bad they lost him to DC and it’s weird too that Michael Roker (Yandu) joins him in the next Suicide Squad movie. Now Marvel’s got some serious competition,” one person commented.
For those who are big fans of MCU, they’re not impressed with the star director working for the competition. But fans will just have to wait and see what actually happens in the future.
The Suicide Squad will be released in August 2021, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is scheduled to be released in early 2023.
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