James Gunn Defends His Wife's DC Movie Appearances

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Jennifer Holland in Peacemaker

DC Studios CEO James Gunn defended his wife and Emilia Harcourt actress Jennifer Holland after receiving criticism for her casting in the superhero franchise.

Back in September 2022, Gunn married his seven-year girlfriend Holland at a star-studded wedding attended by many Marvel and DC stars. The Hollywood stars began dating in 2015 after being introduced by Smallville actor Michael Rosenbaum, who just so happened to be a mutual friend of both.

The couple has worked together professionally several times before, with Gunn having cast Holland as ARGUS agent Harcourt for The Suicide Squad before she later returned in both Peacemaker and Black Adam

James Gunn Responds to Wife Casting Criticism

Emilia Harcourt, Jennifer Holland

DC Studios CEO James Gunn responded to criticism from a follower calling for him to "stop putting his wife in every DC project." The filmmaker has been dating Emilia Harcourt actress Jennifer Holland since 2015 and married her at a ceremony that took place in September 2022.

Gunn clarified that The Suicide Squad was the only DC project he has cast his wife in, while she later returned in his Peacemaker HBO Max series. He explained he had "nothing to do with the casting of any other movie" - presumably referring to her only other big-screen DC appearance in Black Adam:

"The only DC movie I’ve ever cast my wife in was #TheSuicideSquad. I had nothing to do with the casting of any other movie - anything else was shot a year or so ago while I was deep in 'Vol 3.' But I know some of you are deeply in need of reasons to hate."

Holland appeared in several of Gunn's projects, including the 2019 superhero horror Brightburn which the filmmaker produced with a screenplay written by his cousin Mark Gunn and brother Brian Gunn.

Why Jennifer Holland Will Return in James Gunn's DCU Reboot

As James Gunn wipes much of the DCU slate clean for his upcoming reboot, Jennifer Holland's Emilia Harcourt is one of few characters who appear to be safe, and no, not because they're married. 

Gunn already confirmed "members of Team Peacemaker" will return in Waller, and Harcourt will likely be among them. Additionally, Peacemaker Season 2 still seems to be pushing ahead despite being on hold for now due to Gunn's focus on writing and directing Superman: Legacy.

Many fans expressed anger to see Gunn's own characters from The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker continue on while others, such as Henry Cavill's Superman, are abandoned. Some have argued that this shows some level of bias on the DC Studios boss' part as he plays favorites going into the reboot.

As Gunn was hired to develop his vision for the DCU and the characters it will explore, it makes perfect sense to keep around those he brought on. After all, Cavill's Superman was only abandoned because the actor didn't fit into Gunn's vision of the character, but obviously, those he chose will serve that vision well.

With regard to where Holland's Harcourt will next show up, that's really anybody's guess, although her playing into HBO Max's Waller would be a safe guess. Then again, few saw her brief appearance in Black Adam coming, so perhaps her return will actually come somewhere completely unexpected.

Peacemaker is streaming now on HBO Max.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.