No, The Suicide Squad Did Not Affect Marvel's Decision To Bring James Gunn Back For Guardians Vol.3

Mantis, Drax, Gamora, and Star-Lord in Guardians 2

It's no secret that the comic book genre is the most profitable in the film world. And with multiple studios crafting their own cinematic universe, plenty of filmmakers and actors have appeared in multiple franchises. Director James Gunn is no exception, as the Guardians of the Galaxy visionary recently wrapped production on his DC blockbuster The Suicide Squad. And he recently cleared up some confusion about his re-hiring at Marvel, and whether or not The Suicide Squad affected the studios' decision to bring Gunn back to complete the Guardians trilogy.

James Gunn was removed from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 for a number of months starting July of 2018, when offensive tweets from a decade resurfaced from the filmmaker's twitter page. It was during this interim period that Gunn negotiated his deal with DC for The Suicide Squad, before eventually being reinstated to complete his Marvel trilogy. Gunn recently cleared up this timeline, after a fan asked if Marvel would have brought him back if DC hadn't given him another gig. He responded, saying:

I know for a fact they would have as they didn't know about Squad when they first talked to me.

Well, that certainly clears things up. It looks like Marvel Studios had no idea that James Gunn had booked another gig when they approached him about re-joining for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. They made the decision hire him a back based on his merits and how much the Guardians franchise is based off the his unique director's vision.

This clarification comes to us from James Gunn's personal Instagram page, which he regularly uses to directly communicate with the rabid fanbase. Gunn has been especially using the social media platform while filming The Suicide Squad, regularly using the Instagram story to do informal Q&As with moviegoers. This communication came from his comments section, after the director/writer posted about wrapping principal photography on the highly anticipated DC blockbuster.

Comic book fans were pleased as punch to see James Gunn pivot to the DC side of things for The Suicide Squad, especially given how David Ayer's original 2016 movie failed to resonate with audiences. Gunn has proven how adept he is at balancing an ensemble cast of unknown characters, with fans eager to see how his Guardians of the Galaxy sensibility might be translated to the DCEU. And once he was reinstated by Marvel, that meant the fandom was getting two comic book blockbusters from the acclaimed filmmaker.

James Gunn was given his choice of DC properties by the studio, and picked Suicide Squad because he loved the team's life on the comics. Gunn is a hardcore comic fan, and he likely chose some very unexpected choices for the team of villains. He assembled a killer cast to bring The Suicide Squad to life, teasing that more than one character won't be making it out alive.

Once he's done with The Suicide Squad, James Gunn should start preproduction on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Fans are eager to see how the team will continue to grow and change, and how they'll find 2014 Gamora somewhere in the MCU. There are a ton of narrative threads to pull from following the events of Infinity War and Endgame, and the fandom is eager to see what's coming next.

The Suicide Squad is expected to arrive in theaters on August 6th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

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 CinemaBlend. 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 favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.