James Gunn Opens Up About Lazy Storytelling in the Superhero Genre


James Gunn entered the world of superhero adaptations as an unknown filmmaker when he directed 2014’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ for Marvel Studios. Nine years later, he’s known for writing and directing the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ trilogy, writing and directing ‘The Suicide Squad’ for DC, and the spin-off series ‘Peacemaker’ starring John Cena.

Last year, following the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, Inc. into Warner Bros. Discovery, the company DC Films was renamed DC Studios, and James Gunn and Peter Safran were named co-CEOs with a very special task; plan a new cinematic universe based on DC characters from the ground up. Last February, Gunn announced the first five movies that will be set in the upcoming DC Universe, and the first one, ‘Superman: Legacy,’ will be the next project on which he serves as the writer and director.

James Gunn talks about lazy storytelling and generic third acts in today’s superhero movies!

DC Studios has already suffered three box-office flops in a row; ‘Black Adam,’ ‘Shazam Fury of the Gods,’ and ‘The Flash.’ Even though there are two more DC movies left to be released this year, both fans and the company are probably already looking forward to the start of DCU because WBD and DC are now stuck in one era they want to get out of immediately, even though some of these flops weren’t necessarily so bad as movies.

James Gunn has a whole army of DC fans that he’ll need to satisfy with his next movie, which won’t be easy at all given the entire situation with Henry Cavill’s exit from the franchise and all the projects, like ‘Man of Steel 2’ and ‘Wonder Woman 3,’ that were canceled before DCU was officially announced.

However, James Gunn is known as a huge fan of superheroes, so we hope he knows what he’s doing, especially after he called out lazy storytelling and generic third acts in his recent interview for Variety.

“People have gotten really lazy with their superhero stories, and they have gotten to the place where, ‘Oh, it’s a superhero. Let’s make a movie about it.’ And then, ‘Oh, let’s make a sequel because the first one did pretty well,’ and they aren’t thinking about, ‘Why is this story special? What makes this story stand apart from other stories? What is the story at the heart of it all? Why is this character important? What makes this story different that it fills a need for people in theaters to go see?’

People have gotten a little lazy, and there’s a lot of biff, pow, bam stuff happening in movies, and I’m watching third acts of superhero films where I really just don’t feel like there’s a rhyme or reason to what’s happening. I don’t care about the characters. And they’ve gotten too generic.”

James Gunn for Variety


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To be honest, we are completely aware of what Gunn is talking about since we can all agree that superhero movies aren’t really what they used to be. When you look at it, the most successful DC movies in the last few years were ‘Joker’ and ‘The Batman,’ which were made as independent movies, separate from any cinematic universe. Maybe this shows that people are missing superhero movies like those we watched in the early 2000s.

Maybe people have gotten enough of following dozens of movies and TV shows to fully understand each new project, especially because people who started following MCU and DCEU at their inception aren’t so young anymore, and new generations are hard to lure in when you have 15 years to catch up before you can watch all the new projects that are coming out now.

James Gunn serves as the writer and director of the upcoming ‘Superman: Legacy,’ and he’ll also serve as the producer on other DCU projects. He also wrote all the episodes of the animated series ‘Creature Commandos.’ The fans are also expecting the second season of ‘Peacemaker,’ which Gunn said won’t be developed before he finishes his work on ‘Superman: Legacy.’

Are you looking forward to James Gunn’s future projects? Let us know in the comments!

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