James Gunn is the first and only filmmaker (so far) to have directing credits on films in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe (his “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise) and the DC Extended Universe (Warner Bros.’ upcoming tentpole “The Suicide Squad”). During an interview with The New York Times, Gunn was asked if he saw major differences between how Marvel and DC approach their film franchises. Gun responded by saying DC Films does not have an all-involved presence like Marvel has with studio president Kevin Feige. Although Gun was quick to point out there “are not as many [differences] as people probably think.”
“There’s no doubt Kevin Feige is way more involved with editing than people are at Warner Bros.,” Gunn said. “He gives more notes. You don’t have to take them and I don’t always take them. Then again, I had more problems. If you saw the first cut of ‘Guardians’ 1, it had more problems, because that was my first time making something so gigantic and there’s some learning to what works and what doesn’t, carving away the excess stuff. The truth is, as Marvel goes on and Kevin Feige starts to amass ownership of half of all film in general, he’s more spread out.”
As for his future, Gunn has been honest about the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” being his last Marvel movie for the foreseeable future. Gunn hasn’t made any decisions, but he seems to be interested in sticking with DC Films as they are prioritizing a filmmaker’s vision over the interconnected storytelling that is Marvel’s bread and butter.
“That is the one of the ways in which DC can distinguish itself from Marvel…I think the current batch of folks over at Warner Bros. are really interested in building out a world and creating something that’s unique to the filmmakers,” Gunn told The Times. “We’re in a strange time, so anything can happen.”
Gunn continued, “I do find, because of the ability to do different stuff in the DC multiverse, it’s fun. They’re starting to really resemble their comic books. The Marvel Universe has always been a little more cohesive, and DC has always had more great single runs. They had ‘The Dark Knight Returns.’ They had ‘Watchmen.’ They had ‘The Killing Joke.’ They had Alan Moore’s ‘Swamp Thing.’ The fact that they did ‘Joker,’ which is a totally different type of movie, that to me is cool. I’m very excited about Matt’s movie [‘The Batman,’ from Matt Reeves]. They’re getting some really good filmmakers involved. They’re always going to be hit or miss — I just don’t want them to get boring.”
“The Suicide Squad” opens August 6 in theaters and HBO Max.