James Gunn Speaks on Disney Interference on MCU Movies

By Russ Milheim Updated:
James Gunn, Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn commented on what studio interference he has faced in his career across multiple projects, including from Disney and Marvel itself.

Studio interference is the bane of creatives' existence. It often results in a messy final product stuffed with competing ideas, although there have been plenty of past cases where the studio saved the day before a film reached theaters.

This happens across the board with most studios. For example, Patty Jenkins got into arguments with Warner Bros. about Wonder Woman 1984's release window, most of Zack Snyder's projects had too many cooks in the kitchen, and Disney may have restricted the runtime for movies such as Thor: Love and Thunder and  Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

But has Gunn ever had to deal with any of those issues?

Has Disney Interfered With James Gunn's MCU Adventures?

James Gunn, Disney, Guardians of the Galaxy

In a series of tweets, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director, and co-lead of the DCU, James Gunn, revealed whether or not he had to deal with studio interference from Disney and Marvel.

In response to a fan vocalizing their worry that Disney would interfere with Vol. 3, the director noted how "they aren't" messing around with the movie and that he and his editors "are the only ones editing anything:"

"No, they aren't. They've never touched any of the Guardians' movies. They movie's almost finished being edited, is in great shape, and Fred [Raskin] and Greg [Featherman] (my editors) and I are the only ones editing anything."

Gunn continued in a different tweet, plainly saying that "if the studio doesn't like the movie, they interfere," and "if they do [like it], they don't:"

"Like at all the studios, if the studio doesn't like the movie, they interfere. If they do, they don't. It's pretty simple. I've never been forced into a change on any of my movies, including the Guardians films."

Studio Interference: The Enemy of Creators

Leaving the creatives to do what they do is usually the right course of action, so many are likely relieved to hear Gunn hasn’t had any issues with that behavior.

Though, it’s important to note that if there was any significant interference, Gunn would likely not admit to it—for fear of breaking any NDAs or upsetting the studio itself.

With Gunn’s new role as co-lead of the DCU, he’ll get to be on the other side of the table. The director will now be the one to interfere with projects and not the larger parent company.

It’s also important to reiterate that studio interference absolutely does still happen. The two biggest examples of it from Marvel Studios were Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man and Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange sequel—both of which never ended up happening.

Since the wider world doesn’t know all the details of those cases, it’s impossible to tell if the outcome was for the better. Though, clearly, things are still working out for Marvel Studios.

More proof is that it's hard to believe something so absurd (not necessarily in a bad way) as The Holiday Special would get released in the first place if the studio was hellbent on interfering and making every choice itself.

The MCU would probably have fallen apart long ago if studio interference was a common problem amongst their ranks.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hit theaters on May 5.

- 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.