After Disney Fired James Gunn, Looks Like It Took Warner Bros. No Time At All To Ask About The Suicide Squad

Harley underwater in The Suicide Squad

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It’s no secret that the superhero genre is massively popular, with a number of cinematic universes competing for box office supremacy. The two largest are the MCU and DCEU, with select talent working on both properties. Filmmaker James Gunn is one of those big names, and fans can’t wait to see him pivot to DC with The Suicide Squad. And it turns out that Warner Bros. didn’t waste any time getting Gunn involved after he was (temporarily) fired by Disney.

James Gunn became a household name thanks to his acclaimed work with the Guardians of the Galaxy films, which turned a motley crew of unknown heroes into fan favorites. But Disney briefly fired the filmmaker when offensive tweets from a decade ago resurfaced. Eventually he was hired back, but not before Warner Bros. stepped into get him involved in The Suicide Squad. As Gunn himself recently put it,

Warner came a-calling pretty immediately upon the news. I think everything kind of went down [with Disney] on like a Friday, and I think by Monday, Warners were trying to get a hold of me to talk to me about Superman and a bunch of other stuff. But it took me a little while to decide what I was going to do – I really just needed to take care of myself from an emotional and spiritual place.

Timing really is everything, especially in the entertainment world. So when James Gunn was removed from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 shortly before it was set to begin filming, DC jumped on the opportunity to collaborate with the acclaimed director. That is, once Gunn was emotionally ready to consider this possibility.

James Gunn’s comments to Total Film help to peel back the curtain on a very unique place of James Gunn’s life and career. His removal from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. seemingly put his career in jeopardy from an outside perspective, but it turns out that Warner Bros. was eager to jump into conversations with Gunn immediately. Eventually this led to The Suicide Squad, despite the studio originally inquiring about a possible Superman movie.

In addition to theaters, The Suicide Squad is arriving on HBO Max, which will also be the home of the Peacemaker spinoff series. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Luckily for both fans and James Gunn himself, he was eventually brought back into the fold at Marvel. Guardians 3 is in development, and he’s also working on Baby Groot shorts and a Guardians Holiday Special. But The Suicide Squad is being released in just a few months, and anticipation is at a fever pitch.

Later in his same interview, James Gunn went on to explain how he approached working on other projects in the wake of the Guardians of the Galaxy drama. As the acclaimed filmmaker put it,

Before agreeing to anything, I took the three ideas that excited me the most. Two were actually DC projects, and then the other one was an original idea. For about a month, every other day I worked on one of those projects, trying to see where the ideas would go. The Suicide Squad really did seem the thing that excited me the most. That’s when I went and told DC – because they’d offered me basically anything [I wanted to make] – that the one I wanted to do was The Suicide Squad.

And just like that, we’re getting an R-rated sequel/reboot to Suicide Squad. James Gunn’s upcoming blockbuster will feature a handful of returning characters from David Ayer’s original, but will also include a massive cast of newcomers. Gunn was given his pick of the DC litter, and specifically wanted to dive into Task Force X’s mythology.

It should be interesting to see where James Gunn’s career takes him after The Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are finally here. Is his time in the MCU up for good? After all, he seems excited about his potential future in the DCEU. Only time will tell.

The Suicide Squad will arrive in theaters and HBO Max on August 6th. Be sure to check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. 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. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.