James Gunn Calls Out Disney+'s Mistake With Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Streaming Release

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Following the streaming debut of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on Disney+, director James Gunn called out a mistake on the streamer's part.

The latest movie to be released within the MCU was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. After seeing great success at the box office during its theatrical run (earning $845.4 million globally), the film was recently added to the Disney+ streaming library on August 2.

During its first week on the platform, James Gunn's threequel beat out The Super Mario Bros. Movie in streaming numbers to be the most-watched movie on any streaming service.

When it was released on Disney+, the streamer made Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 available to view in an IMAX ratio, but Gunn admitted that his preferred way to view the movie at home is in its traditional widescreen format.

James Gunn Calls Out IMAX Mistake on Disney+

On Meta's new social media platform, Threads, a fan recently pointed out that the preview shot for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's IMAX ratio on Disney+ didn't accurately show what the film looks like in that format.

The user stated that the preview is "just a cropped version of the widescreen shot," to which James Gunn confirmed and agreed that it wasn't right.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 thumbnails on Disney+

The writer/director also revealed that the preview doesn't accurately show viewers what it would be like to watch it in IMAX, telling fans that that "version isn't cropped" but instead features "new stuff" on the "top and bottom:"

"Yeah the IMAX version isn't cropped. It's all new stuff top and bottom."

Chris Pratt as Starlord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in IMAX ratio

Marvel Studios VFX supervisor Stephane Ceretti also pointed out via X (formerly known as Twitter) Disney+'s mistake with the thumbnails, saying that they "are wrong."

He also criticized Disney+ in general for "giv[ing] the thumbnail work to a photoshop challenged graphist" instead of proving how the film actually looks in IMAX:

"The thumbnails are wrong. I don’t know what D+ is doing but they should not give the thumbnail work to a photoshop challenged graphist. Truth is you get more in IMAX top and bottom. but it's true that James designed the movie to be an hybrid format very specifically."

Disney+ fixed the preview shots of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on the streaming service since Gunn and Ceretti's comments, and now, that thumbnail does accurately display the IMAX ratio.

In a side-by-side comparison, fans can see how the original thumbnail was just a cropped version of the original and how the updated thumbnail actually features a different aspect ratio showing off unseen parts of the shot at the top and bottom of the screen.

Side-by-side comparison of Disney+'s IMAX thumbnails

Should Disney+ Continue To Include IMAX Versions of MCU Films?

Multiple entries in the MCU now include the option to watch them in IMAX on Disney+, giving fans the opportunity to see them in a different way than just the standard theatrical cut that was released in theaters.

However, this is not the first time that an issue has arisen regarding the IMAX ratio.

James Gunn publicly stated that his preferred way to watch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is in the widescreen format because he intentionally changed aspect ratios while filming.

When watching the film in IMAX, the aspect ratio is the same from start to finish, while the widescreen edition features these changes in aspect ratio.

When Disney+ first updated its library and included IMAX Enhanced editions to some past entries in the MCU, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson spoke out about his displeasure with giving fans that option.

Like Gunn, Derrickson stated that he "never intended that aspect ratio to be used for home viewing" because he specifically switched aspect ratios at different points throughout the film to enhance the overall experience for the viewer.

While Disney+ is probably just enticing subscribers to watch the film in a way that they have never seen before, these IMAX editions do seem to bring along some problems and show the final cut of the movie to viewers in a way that the filmmakers didn't intend.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is available to stream on Disney+.

- In This Article: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release Date
May 05, 2023
- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.