DC Studios Boss Critiques Marvel's Last-Minute Movie Edits: 'Too Much'

By Lauren Rouse Updated:
James Gunn, Marvel Studios, Avengers: Endgame

New DC Studios boss and MCU alumni James Gunn criticized Marvel Studio's habit of editing its films at the last minute.

The director, who has been on the inside of the production process at both DC, with The Suicide Squad, and Marvel Studios, with the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, has unique insight into the habits of each studio. It's no secret that Marvel often conducts reshoots for its films very close to their release dates, which puts a strain on post-production.

Recently, Gunn and his co-CEO Peter Safran revealed their plans to revamp the DCU, with a new slate of projects titled Chapter 1: Gods & Monsters. While the chapter nature of this slate is very reminiscent of the MCU's 'phases' approach, the studio head said there are some Marvel Studios strategies he hopes to avoid. 

James Gunn Takes Jab at Marvel's Editing Process

James Gunn, DC and Marvel
DC & Marvel

Following the announcement of DC Studios' Gods & Monsters slate, James Gunn and Peter Safran took time to answer any lingering questions from the media. 

As per Gizmodo, one question that was posed was why fans should trust this new slate of DC projects over others in the past. Gunn said the "biggest difference is I've done it" and that his time within both the DCU and MCU makes him uniquely positioned to oversee this slate:

"The biggest difference is I’ve done it. So I started 'Guardians 1' with a story of what that trilogy was, where it started and where it ended. And that story is just the smaller version of doing this. I’ve been inside a company that did it very well, [but] it’s very different than us."

Gunn added that Marvel does "a lot of things really well" but that the studio doesn't "have everything completely worked out ahead of time:"

"Marvel didn’t have everything completely worked out ahead of time. But they did a lot of things really well, one of which is not giving up. And I really love that about Kevin [Feige] and Lou [D’Esposito] and the whole gang. I’ve seen them turn bad movies into okay movies, okay movies into good movies, and good movies into great movies because they do not fucking stop."

This led Gunn to comment on Marvel's habit of editing right up until the last minute, which he said was "too much:"

They give it whatever it needs to make it as good as it can possibly be until the 11th hour. And they’ll be editing the day before the premiere. It’s a lot. Too much.

No Last-Minute Editing For DC?

As the DCU attempts to turn over a new leaf it makes sense that it would learn from the mistakes of its biggest competition.

It's almost expected at this point that Marvel Studios films allot time for expansive reshoots close to release, which has occurred with all three of its most recent movies including Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. 

Given the many moving parts of such an expansive cinematic universe, it makes sense that things in a Marvel movie may change in the time between principal photography and release, so reshoots may be needed to keep up that continuity. However, as Gunn pointed out, this requires editing to take place until the last minute and adds pressure during the post-production process. 

Marvel has been criticized in the past for its treatment of visual effects artists, who have claimed the studio is 'horrible' to work with due to its last-minute demands. 

Gunn has said that DC's new slate is "a lot more planned out" than the MCU and, hopefully, by sticking to that plan, DC Studios can avoid any similar scenarios.

- About The Author: Lauren Rouse
Lauren Rouse has been a writer at The Direct since the site launched in 2020. She has a huge passion for everything pop culture and currently writes news articles for the Marvel, Star Wars, DC and video game branches.