James Gunn is the rare filmmaker who has played in Hollywood’s two biggest superhero sandboxes at the same time, directing “The Suicide Squad” and creating the spin-off series “Peacemaker” for DC Studios in between his duties directing “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies (and a TV special) for Marvel. But while he found success working with both Warner Bros. and Disney, Gunn’s days as a double agent are about to end. Gunn and his former manager Peter Safran were announced as the new co-CEOs of DC Studios in late 2022, a role that will see Gunn enjoy Kevin Feige-levels of creative control as they overhaul the studio’s superhero properties to create a coherent cinematic universe.
While that job will prevent Gunn from making more Marvel movies, he’s making it clear that his affection for the brand hasn’t diminished — and he isn’t ruling out the possibility of future collaborations with the studio.
In a new interview with Empire to promote his upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” Gunn was asked about his interest in having his DC characters team up with heroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The filmmaker revealed that the concept has been discussed, even if there are no formal plans yet.
“I’m certain that’s more likely now that I’m in charge,” Gunn said of a possible crossover. “That’s many years away, though… I think we have to establish what we’re doing [at DC] first. I would be lying to say that we haven’t discussed it. But all discussions have been very, very light and fun.”
Gunn’s comments come in the same week that he admitted that certain audiences are beginning to tire of superheroes after years of Marvel blockbusters dominating American pop culture. He emphasized that the genre needs to be rooted in storytelling rather than spectacle to succeed — so it’s safe to say that any Marvel-DC event would need to be grounded by a story that justifies the excess.
“I think there is such a thing as superhero fatigue,” he said. “I think it doesn’t have anything to do with superheroes. It has to do with the kind of stories that get to be told, and if you lose your eye on the ball, which is character. We love Superman. We love Batman. We love Iron Man. Because they’re these incredible characters that we have in our hearts. And if it becomes just a bunch of nonsense onscreen, it gets really boring.”