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James Gunn

Back in 2018, Marvel’s loss was DC’s gain when the former studio fired James Gunn from his director’s seat on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, leading to the latter swiftly snapping up his talents that were ultimately tapped for The Suicide Squad. Now Peter Safran, a producer on the supervillain teamup sequel, has revealed exactly how quickly the decision was made.

If you recall, the situation came about after tweets containing some tasteless and highly questionable jokes that Gunn had made a decade previously were pushed back to the surface by alt-right conspiracy theorist and professional misogynist Mike Cernovich. In response, Disney cut all ties with Gunn, including dropping him from the production of the cosmic defenders’ threequel.

Speaking to Screen Rant, Safran had this to say about what happened in the immediate aftermath.

“So he got fired on a Friday in July, and on Tuesday Toby [Emmerich] came to me and said, ‘Tell James Gunn that whatever he wants to do at Warner Bros., we want him for it. Just tell us what he wants to do.’ So it was two [working] days later. So internal discussions were incredibly easy. It just felt like James did not merit the treatment that he got, and ultimately, Disney felt the same way and reversed their decision. But it was immediate… It was a really tough time, so it wasn’t like he just wanted to jump back into something. So it took a little while to figure out what he wanted to do.”

Exactly why it was declared that Gunn was such an essential hire wasn’t specified, but it was most likely something to do with the observation that his off-kilter imagination was a good fit for them, not to mention his proven track record for transforming obscure comic book characters into box-office gold like some mad cinematic alchemist.

Of course, and as Safran stated, things ultimately swung even further in Gunn’s favor when he was re-hired by the House of Mouse, and will begin filming the third outing for Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot in a few months, once his obligations on The Suicide Squad spin off series Peacemaker are concluded.

The speed at which it was decreed that James Gunn be brought on board at DC is surprising, especially as it was made within an industry notorious for the glacial pace of its decision-making process. We’ll see how good a one it was when The Suicide Squad is released in the UK at the end of the month and in the US a week later.

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