James Gunn Gets Honest About the Hate DC Fans Give Him on Twitter

By Russ Milheim Posted:
James Gunn, DC, Justice League

DC Studios co-lead James Gunn got honest about all of the hate he tends to get from some DC fans, especially on Twitter.

The fanbase for the beloved fictional universe can be a very vocal one. This isn't a bad trait on its own, but some often take things too far.

The best examples of this are seen when the Snyderverse enters the conversation. Many who love Zack Snyder's time in the DCEU will do everything in their power to let people know what they think of any of the filmmaker's work—which often leads to disparaging comments.

Gunn undoubtedly needed to be ready for reactions like those from the moment he decided he'd be leading the charge for a new DCU.

James Gunn on the Hate From Fans

James Gunn, Justice League

While speaking with Michael Rosenbaum on Inside of You, DC Studios co-lead James Gunn discussed the hate often aimed his way on sites like Twitter.

The director knew that there would "be many challenges" when he started his journey as an architect of the DCU, equating his path as one through "a ring of fire:"

"...I knew that there was going to be many challenges as we embarked on that journey, because people have different ideas about how things are supposed to be. People have all sorts of things that they love whether they love things from the DCEU, or they love things from the Arrowverse, they love things from the animated worlds, or whatever, that is something that we knew was going to be a ring of fire we were gonna have to walk through.”

Gunn noted that due to his time on Twitter, he's used to being accosted with both love and hate:

“I knew …I’ve been used to being loved and hated for a long time… I’m on Twitter, you know? That’s what Twitter is. It’s love and hate. Twitter is the prisoner with the love on one hand and hate on the other and they’re just punching you in the face with both sides. But I knew there was gonna be a period of hardship. And I knew that there had been spectacular missteps in the past with all sorts of different choices.”

According to the filmmaker, while he wasn't initially interested in leading DC Studios, what made the concept appealing to him "was doing it with Peter [Safran]:"

“When it first came up, I was like (grimaces)… And it didn’t come up– Nobody came to me and said, ‘Do you want to run DC?’ But it came to me very early in the process, ‘Would that be something you would be interested in?’ This is very early. And I was like, ‘Nah, I don’t think so.’ And the reasons were, because it was me, and it wasn’t me and Peter [Safran]. What made it appealing to me eventually was because they also went to Peter early on. And he was like the same way. But what eventually became appealing to me was doing it with Peter [Safran]."

The two share a long history, with Gunn revealing that Safran has "been [his] manager since [he] first moved to LA" and that they "work together exceptionably well:"

"So, Peter Safran has been my manager. He’s been my manager since I first moved to LA, back when he was the president of Brillstein/Grey. We’re very close friends, we’ve traveled together, we hang out with our families together, we’re close friends and we’ve gotten, maybe, one or two arguments over the past 25 years of working together. We work together exceptionally well. We never step on each other’s toes. I respect his opinion completely about many things and he respects my opinion about creative stuff."

Gunn then explained how it became clear to the both of them that they were going to be able to do "something that had never been done before:"

"And so when it came to us as a pair and basically Peter sort of managing everything. working as a producer, and me basically working as a director, directing the creative aspects of things, that became a different story. That became suddenly an opportunity to do something that had never been done before: to create the biggest story ever told across film, television, gaming, and more, and to really create a cohesive DC Universe."

The Future of the DCU Is in Gunn’s Hands

Gunn was clearly prepared for the pushback he was likely to get in taking charge of DC Studios. After all, orchestrating a big reset of a beloved universe is bound to ruffle some feathers, no matter how necessary the move might be.

Mix in social media that provides an instantaneous connection to fans and their immediate thoughts, one is left with the perfect breeding ground for both love and toxicity. Though, really that's just the nature of medium.

Now all the filmmaker has to do is follow through. No pressure?

Gunn’s upcoming Superman: Legacy film is undoubtedly one of the most important superhero movies in recent years. That single project could make or break the DC universe for years to come.

Clearly, Warner Bros. trusts both James Gunn and Peter Safran with the future of the DCU. Now all they do have to do is to convince the fans, including those very vocal ones.

Though, inevitably, there will be a handful of people who simply can’t be convinced. They’ll still be holding into Zack Snyder’s world for years to come.

Superman: Legacy hits theaters on July 11, 2025.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.