Marvel's James Gunn Keeps List of Actors He'll Never Work With for 3 Reasons

By Richard Nebens Updated:
James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy

James Gunn has become one of the biggest names in the Hollywood directing circle, largely thanks to his time working with Marvel Studios on the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. He's also recently made the jump to the DC Universe with The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, all of which have allowed him to work with some of the best actors in the business.

Gunn has never been one to hold back his opinions on his movies and the industry as a whole, always ready to clarify news reports or shut down bogus theories about his work on social media. On top of that, he often comes out in support of the people he's worked with during public scrutiny or controversy, offering his praise for the actors and producers he's worked with over the years.

But since he's not shy about tackling the bad along with the good, Gunn recently took to Twitter to reveal what, or who, he avoids when working on a blockbuster movie or show.

James Gunn Keeps List of Actors To Avoid

James Gunn, Marvel Studios, Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn took to Twitter to share three reasons he won't work with certain actors on his projects.

Gunn explained that he always does his "due diligence" on everybody involved with the production and avoids hiring anybody "if it checks out they're jerks... or irresponsible:"

"I always do due diligence on actors & production heads with directors, actors, producers & crew members I trust. If it checks out they’re jerks (not just cranky or curmudgeons but actual jerks) or irresponsible I don’t hire them. Some actors I already know never to even consider."

The director noted that he will "immediately recast" an actor if he notices one of three things - a bad temperament, repeatedly showing up to work late, or being unprepared:

"If it’s their temperament & it’s serious, I’ll immediately recast. Life’s too short for assholes. Same if they’re repeatedly very late, which I hate, or unprepared. I have a long list of actors, A-list & otherwise, I’ll never work with for these reasons…"

If something is amiss from a performance standpoint, Gunn makes sure to do everything in his power "to make it work" unless he can tell the quality will suffer without a recast:

“But if it’s performance related, & they’re putting their all into it, I’ll do everything on my end to make it work until it’s absolutely clear the quality of the project will be perceivably harmed if we don’t recast. This can happen with really talented actors who just don’t fit.”

Gunn even confirmed that Peacemaker star John Cena boasts all those qualities, calling him one of the actors he would do anything to work with. The director wanted to send more shoutouts, but he didn't want to leave too many people out:

"Yes. John Cena is among the best people to work with - always prepared & on time & kind to everyone. He & many of my regulars are among the actors I die to work with. I want to shout out to them here but paucity of characters means I'd be leaving many out.”

Gunn Stands Firm on Collaboration Requirements

Considering how public James Gunn is about his work, especially with his process in the comic book movie world, it's no surprise that he has such firm guidelines on who he works with. Thankfully, through his work with both Guardians of the Galaxy movies and his two DC projects, he's collaborated with some of the best actors in the business who have also developed great friendships with him.

With an impressive gathering of stars in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Gunn has built a team of people that he fully supports, having successfully avoided anyone that he's said he'd never work with.

While most directors likely have their own standards for who they will work with, seeing Gunn publicly talk about his own process only reinforces how set he is with his filmmaking process. Not specifically mentioning anybody on that list is no surprise, especially since he mentioned Cena as one of his favorite people to work with, and it seems clear that this list will remain secret as long as Gunn continues his work.

Gunn is currently in post-production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which will debut in theaters on May 5, 2023.

- In This Article: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release Date
May 05, 2023
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.