Even though James Gunn's The Suicide Squad debuts on August 6, 2021 in both theaters and on HBO Max, the director shows no signs of slowing down. He still has plenty of work still to do — but for a rival studio.
Apart from the 2022 Peacemaker series starring John Cena, Gunn is finally returning to the MCU to film the long-awaited Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, as well as The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.
Gunn's return follows his 2018 release from the studio due to past offensive jokes made on social media; and while the experience was rough on the filmmaker, things worked out in the end. Not only was he picked up by Warner Bros., but he was also rehired by Disney soon after making him the first to direct for both Marvel and DC.
Therefore, since Gunn already crossed over between the MCU and the DCU, could a crossover film also be on the horizon? Well, according to Gunn, he's actually "talked about that to the heads of both Marvel and DC" already.
JAMES GUNN WANTS TO DIRECT HARLEY QUINN & GROOT
In an interview with Jakes Takes to promote The Suicide Squad, James Gunn admitted that he's floated the idea for a Marvel and DC crossover film to the studio heads, and he wants it to star Harley Quinn and Groot:
"I would really be happy to do a Harley Quinn and Groot movie, that would be exciting for me. Not only have I thought about that, but I've actually talked about that to the heads of both Marvel and DC. They know everybody's open to everything, but whether anything would ever happen, who knows?"
Gunn has since clarified that he mentioned his Harley Quinn & Groot film idea to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige in passing, but he hasn't spoken to anyone at DC about it.
While character crossovers within franchises are common and part of the Marvel DNA, a crossover between two competing studio franchises is another thing altogether. Still, there is a precedent for it within the comics themselves.
A Marvel and DC crossover has happened four times beginning with Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man in 1976 and followed by the Marvel Treasuring Edition #28 in 1980. This was then followed by DC vs. Marvel in 1996 and JLA/Avengers in 2003.
However, even if the studios were up for such a venture, as Gunn put it, "whether we can ever get through the barrage, the Berlin Wall of lawyers we would need... I don't know. But it would be a blast:"
"But the idea of being able to bring Marvel and DC together in a movie, that would be really fun for me. And, I know it's exciting for even the heads of Marvel and DC to think about, Kevin Feige over at Marvel and Tobey Emmerich over at Warner Bros... It's something we all like to dream about, whether we can ever get through the barrage, the Berlin Wall of lawyers we would need to get through to ever make something like that happen, I don't know. But, it would be a blast."
Gunn then revisited his dream cast for his fantasy crossover. While he originally claimed it would star DC's Harley Quinn and Marvel's Groot, the director expanded the duo into an ensemble saying, "Yeah, I can also really get behind a Rocket, Groot, King Shark, and Weasel movie. That would be fantastic as well."
ALLIGATOR LOKI? TWO BATMEN? HARLEY AND GROOT?
Since both Marvel and Warner Bros. have produced so many comic book movies in recent years, both studios need to keep experimenting to keep audiences engaged and its stories fresh.
In fact, both are on the brink of releasing films that will explore their respective franchise's multiverses with DC's The Flash releasing November 4, 2022 and Marvel releasing Spider-Man: No Way Home later this year (despite its lack of promotion) that looks to follow the events of Loki on Disney+.
Once both Marvel and DC explore its various timelines and character variations, it wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility that the studios both consider a crossover film event. Not only would the potential for such a film excite the actors and filmmakers, but the box office potential is sure to excite the studios as well.