In the world of comics, there are two huge behemoths that regularly compete for supremacy. That's right, I'm talking about DC and Marvel. Each company offers very different characters and stories, many of which have been adapted for the screen. Fans have often debated and about which was superior, a conversation that continued when the MCU and DCEU began occupying movie theaters. But according to James Gunn, that feud isn't a reality for the film studios themselves.
James Gunn is a filmmaker who has the rare distinction of helming comic book adaptations for both DC and Marvel. Gunn put his signature sense of humor (and dance moves) into Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, before pivoting to DC for the highly anticipated blockbuster The Suicide Squad. Gunn recently revealed the reason why the two movie studios aren't really feuding with each other, saying:
Well, that was honest. It looks like the comic book studios don't have time to feud with each other, mostly because the genre is still fighting to be recognized by the industry. What's more, there are plenty of critic of comic book genre, including legendary filmmakers.
James Gunn's response to the DC vs Marvel debate come from his personal Twitter. The Guardians of the Galaxy director regularly uses the social media platform to directly communicate with the rabid comic book fandom. While old tweets were what cost Gunn his job at Marvel for a number of months, he's still happy to use Twitter in contact with cinephiles.
DC and Marvel may be competitors and rivals, but it doesn't look like there's much beef between the two film studios. Both cinematic universes have been known to make tons of money, and superhero fatigue hasn't really settled in yet. Instead, the superhero genre needs to be united, as there are so many naysayers in the public and from within the industry itself.
There has been a great deal of conversation around the comic book genre's role in the film world, and what types of projects are considered "cinema." The debate began a few months ago, when legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese dismissed the genre in comments that quickly went viral. He was eventually joined by another great: Francis Ford Coppola, who went so far as to call the genre "despicable."
These comments obviously angered hardcore fans of the genre, as well as the filmmakers who work so hard to make each blockbuster into a reality. James Gunn was one of the most vocal defenders of the genre, as he's certainly put a ton of work and vision into the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Those movies are able to make us laugh and cry, with the characters able to inspire catharsis despite being so out of this world.
As such, James Gunn thinks that the real fight happening around the superhero genre is the DC and Marvel vs everyone else. The upcoming blockbusters coming from their respective shared universes will no doubt make plenty of money, while smaller projects struggle at the box office. Awards Season only heightens these tensions, as there are a limited number of nominations and winners. Comic book inspired Joker has a whopping 11 Oscar noms this year, with Joaquin Phoenix being the frontrunner for Best Actor.
James Gunn's The Suicide Squad will arrive in theaters on August 6, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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