James Gunn Doesn't Want to Be DC Movies' New Leader

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
James Gunn, DC, Warner Bros.

After Guardians of the Galaxy proved to be a shock hit in 2014, director James Gunn shot to stardom in the superhero world. The Marvel filmmaker went on to helm the popular sequel to his sci-fi epic before being fired from the third installment due to online controversy. During this time, Gunn was quickly scooped up by DC to work on The Suicide Squad and subsequently the Peacemaker HBO Max series before being rehired by Marvel and Disney to finish his Guardians trilogy.

Having taken the lead on some of the most widely-beloved movies in the comic book superhero genre, many have naturally called for Gunn to take a bigger role in both cinematic universes. The director's name has frequently been thrown around as a popular candidate to direct films in the Avengers or Justice League franchises and even to take over the DCEU altogether.

But how does James Gunn feel about taking charge of the DCEU or MCU? 

Would James Gunn Take Over the DCEU?

James Gunn DC
The Direct

In a recent tweet, The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker director James Gunn responded to calls for him to take over the reins of the DC universe.

After critic Drew Dietsch stated that Warner Bros. should "just let [James Gunn] take over the DC universe," Gunn replied that while he appreciates the compliment, he "would never want [Walter Hamada] or [Kevin Feige]'s job:"

"Thanks for that compliment… but I would never want Walt (at DC) or Kevin (at Marvel’s) job."

Walter Hamada is currently serving as the president of DC Films at Warner Bros. with his contract running till 2023. Kevin Feige remains the president of Marvel Studios and a producer on all its projects as he has since 2007.

Does DC Need a Kevin Feige?

Aquaman Shazam Kevin Feige
The Direct

Marvel Studios truly created the template for a successful cinematic universe with the MCU by connecting over fourteen separate franchises to tell a cohesive story within one evergrowing world.

With DC having an even larger catalog of heroes, villains, and stories to pull from, fans naturally expect it to have a similar cinematic universe on par with its comic book competition. However, due to years of behind-the-scenes troubles and departing creatives, Warner Bros. has struggled to properly get its DCEU off the ground.

Initially, Zack Snyder seemed set to be the man at the wheel having taken the reins on Man of SteelBatman V Superman, and Justice League, while serving as a producer on both Wonder Woman movies, Aquaman, and Suicide Squad​​​​​.

Sadly, the infamous Justice League debacle led to the director's departure from the DC world as Joss Whedon took over the disastrous team-up. After the grand-scale team-up proved to be critically and financially disappointing, Walter Hamada was appointed in 2018 to oversee the DCEU moving forward.

To date, Warner Bros. is still struggling to properly get its live-action DC universe going, as projects remain fairly disconnected and standalone. Although, the studio is clearly happy with where Hamada is taking the universe, as his contract was extended in 2021 all the way through to 2023.

Kevin Feige is in many ways the driving force behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as he takes a strong involvement in every film and series to maintain interconnectivity and tell an overarching storyline. Perhaps DC needs somebody to take it in this direction, in order to bring everything together in the way many are hoping for.

While James Gunn may be a truly brilliant filmmaker and storyteller, his talents are certainly best used in the directing chair and he creates masterpieces of his own. For now, Hamada will remain the man-in-charge at DC films for some time to come, but who knows what the future holds.

James Gunn's Peacemaker series will premiere its first three episodes on January 13, 2022, exclusively on HBO Max.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.