James Gunn has been a common staple of the superhero movie genre ever since his MCU directing debut in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. The film earned positive reception from fans and critics, and it also served as the gateway for the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe through the introduction of several otherworldly characters.
Guardians' success propelled the résumé of Gunn, and it ultimately led to the film becoming a franchise. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was eventually launched under the same Marvel banner, and it delivered the same amount of success similar to its predecessor.
The Marvel grind didn't stop there for Gunn, as he went on to serve as an executive producer for both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
The veteran director didn't just leave his superhero mark in the MCU. Gunn directed the DCEU's The Suicide Squad, the highly-anticipated hybrid reboot/sequel to 2016's Suicide Squad. Aside from that, Gunn will also serve as director and executive producer of John Cena's Peacemaker series from HBO Max.
Despite the superhero-infused accolades of Gunn, a surprising comment from the director has emerged online.
JAMES GUNN IS BORED WITH SUPERHERO MOVIES
The Suicide Squad director James Gunn sat down with SFX Magazine, via ScreenRant, to talk about his strategy on how to make the upcoming DCEU sequel stand out from the rest of the superhero movie slate.
The outspoken director revealed that he mixed superhero antics with the feel of a war movie for The Suicide Squad, and this was partly because of his growing antipathy with the genre.
Gunn admitted that superhero movies are “mostly boring” to him now, saying that a lot of them falls under that category, but there are still people “trying to do different things [with them]":
“They're mostly boring to me right now! I loved them at the beginning and there are still people trying to do different things [with them], so it's not a 100% rule, but a lot of them are boring. So I think it's about bringing in other elements from different genres."
THE NEW AGE OF SUPERHERO MOVIES
James Gunn's comment about the superhero genre is both surprising and understandable.
The shock in describing the films as “mostly boring” could fuel discussions from dedicated fans of the genre. That said, the director's remark is understandable because it could serve as wake-up call for producers, especially considering that this is coming from a person who is well-versed with the genre.
While Gunn didn't pinpoint any franchise, he is mostly referring to the top two superhero-producing studios: Marvel Studios and Warner Brothers. In many ways, the director's sentiments should pose as a challenge to do better and try to craft a unique superhero story that will be remembered due to its themes, and not just the familiar action beats and high stakes sequences.
So far, Gunn is leading by example due his genre-blend approach for The Suicide Squad. The war elements are apparent in the film's marketing, and mixing it with the usual superhero antics gives a sense of enjoyment when viewed by the public.
Based on the MCU's history, the Kevin Feige-led franchise is also doing its part in terms of incorporating other themes into their superhero films. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a political thriller with superheroes. Black Widow is a spy espionage film infused with family elements. The franchise even had a film where the villain ultimately won against the heroes in Avengers: Infinity War.
This goes to show that there is hope for more game-changing superhero stories down the line. The pressure is on for Marvel and DC to lead by example.
Gunn's genre-blending will be on full display when The Suicide Squad hits theaters and HBO Max on August 6.