While James Gunn is best known for his work with the Guardians of the Galaxy in the MCU, he secretly played a key role in Tom Holland's origin as Marvel Studios' Spider-Man as well.
Gunn is currently riding the high of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's release in theaters, earning plenty of praise for his final movie of the trilogy. But while the intergalactic misfits are his crown jewel, his influence can be felt across the rest of the MCU.
The writer/director held a job as an executive producer on Marvel Studios' crown jewels, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, also offering his own input on the Guardians for their appearance in 2022's Thor: Love and Thunder.
But while it's no surprise to see Gunn's influence on the cosmic side of the MCU, he recently revealed that he helped to make a number of other projects better that were a little more Earth-based.
Gunn's Influence on MCU's Spider-Man
During an interview with The Wrap, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn revealed the work he did to help bring Spider-Man's MCU debut to fruition.
Gunn admitted that he was "consulting on all the Marvel movies" before his unceremonious firing, even reading the script for Tom Holland's Spider-Man: Homecoming when Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige sent it his way. He consulted in similar ways on Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel's scripts as he worked hard to be "a team player" for the MCU:
"I was consulting on everything. I was consulting on all the Marvel movies. Kevin would send me the script for ‘Spider-Man’ and I’d give my notes. He’d send me the script for ‘Doctor Strange,’ ‘Captain Marvel,’ and I’d give notes on all of those scripts. It was really as a friend and as somebody who was a part of the team and a team player."
Gunn also confirmed that there were "a lot of things [he] was creating and setting up" to bring into "the rest of the cosmic universe" with the Guardians of the Galaxy coming back in a new form at a later date in the MCU timeline:
How James Gunn's Marvel Experience Helps Him
Considering Gunn's input on both Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy, it's no surprise that he was so heavily invested into the MCU as a whole, with Marvel losing out on even more influence from him on the cosmic and Earth-bound sides of the story.
Had he not been let go after his Twitter controversy, there was a chance that Gunn could have taken on more of a position of power alongside Feige and the rest of Marvel's top brass to make more impactful story choices for the MCU as a whole.
With that kind of influence, Gunn's tenure with the MCU could possibly have lasted a few years longer, even if he moved away from the Guardians specifically and took on more cosmic storylines from all over Marvel's post-Infinity Saga slate.
Now, the Guardians of the Galaxy director has even more responsibility to develop multiple franchises as he takes on the position of co-CEO of DC Studios, developing the new DC Universe alongside his partner Peter Safran.
And looking at the way he gave input on more than half a dozen MCU projects, including his own major trilogy, his work on nearly a dozen new DC entries should have many excited for what's on the way.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is now playing in theaters. Spider-Man: Homecoming will begin streaming on Disney+ on Friday, May 12.