James Gunn, who directed all the Guardians of the Galaxy projects and contributed to the popular Avengers film series for Marvel Studios, has joined DC Studios as co-chairman, triggering debates and speculation about the future of MCU and DCEU films.
In his new role, Gunn will be overseeing the overall creative direction of the DC Universe across film, TV and animation under a single banner. Over the last decade, he has been simultaneously making successful films and TV shows for both Marvel Studios and DC.
Gunn directed The Suicide Squad (2021) and created HBO Max’s series Peacemaker (2022) for DC Studios. He also served as the additional dialogue writer for Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and the executive producer of Avengers: Endgame (2019).
As a co-chairman of DC, Gunn will work exclusively for DC and won’t be making MCU films anymore.
However, according to Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige, Gunn still has a few unfinished projects with MCU. Talking to entertainment portal Deadline at the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever red carpet, Feige said, “He (Gunn) has got a lot of work to do for Marvel between now and May, which he’s well aware of. But after that, I’ll be first in line to see anything he does!”
Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 comes out on May 5, 2023. Marvel Studios’ upcoming special presentation Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, also helmed by Gunn, will arrive on Disney+ Hotstar on November 25.
The 56-year-old filmmaker is among the few directors to introduce a lighthearted approach towards superhero stories.
Some of DCEU’s recent releases also offered a similar quirkiness. The dark and gritty atmosphere of the DC Universe was swapped for a more quirky and character-driven approach in their recent releases Black Adam (2022) and Shazam (2019).
Gunn’s inclusion in the DCEU is expected to provide a fillip to the upcoming projects of Warner Discovery and DC Studios in their ongoing battle to keep up with MCU’s expansion plans.