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Last night was the premiere of Avengers: Endgame. It was an event over 10 years in the making and nearly everybody who has ever been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was in attendance to see how the story came to an end. However, one person who was conspicuous by his absence was James Gunn. The Guardians of the Galaxy director did not attend the gala event last night, but according to his brother, Sean Gunn, explained that he was there in spirit.
To be fair, James Gunn certainly does have a lot of work on his plate right now. He has not one, but two blockbuster comic book team up movies to write and direct in the coming months. One of those, the sequel to Suicide Squad, is set to go before cameras before too long, so it's very possible that Gunn just couldn't pull himself away. If that script isn't ready, then there is work that needs to be done.
At the same time, for many, James Gunn is a man as directly linked to the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise as any filmmaker is to any part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sean Gunn isn't just talking when he tells THR that James Gunn's thoughts are at the premiere, that has to be true. The director called the script to Guardians 3 "his heart" when he finished it.
James Gunn has certainly had one of the more interesting career paths of the last 10 months. The writer was fired from his position as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 last July, following the unearthing of some less than flattering statements but was then rehired sometime later, though that fact only came to light recently. In the interim, Gunn had made the deal to write The Suicide Squad, and he will direct that movie before moving on to do Guardians 3 after all.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, James Gunn has kept something of a low profile ever since the events that led to his firing. Gunn used to be incredibly prolific on Twitter, but he left the service after issuing yet another apology for the tweets that got him in trouble. Since then, he's only tweeted three times. Once to thank the people who supported him after the news of his return to Marvel had been announced, and twice to help promote the upcoming film Brightburn which he helped produce.
Whether Gunn is still simply trying to stay out of the limelight, or he's truly buried in work, or some combination of the two, is hard to know, but it likely won't last too much longer. Once The Suicide Squad goes into production it will be hard to keep a low profile. The promotional machine, including social media, will be in full swing and DC likely won't want Gunn to stay quiet at that point.
If anything, it's too bad James Gunn wasn't at the premiere because by all accounts the movie is something special.