Gunn has a long history in the superhero genre, having directed all three of the MCU's Guardians of the Galaxy movies, as well as the DCEU's The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, all of which were very much comedies.
This sparked concerns from some fans that Gunn would give the Man of Steel a similar treatment in dialing up the humor, which would come in great contrast to Zack Snyder's Man of Steel - a dark and more real affair.
Will Superman: Legacy Be a Comedy? Director Responds
As part of a recent report from The Hollywood Reporter telling the story of the MCU's Guardians of the Galaxy movies' development, franchise director James Gunn partly turned his attention to his next project, the DCU's Superman: Legacy, to address one of the fans' biggest concerns about the reboot.
Gunn first addressed the difficulty of working on Superman because "every single country in the world know the story" behind him, which is why he has always focussed on lesser-known characters:
“It’s easier to take a character nobody knows, like the Guardians, or Peacemaker, and then do whatever you want with them. People in every single country in the world know the story of Superman.”
As such the director had to find a unique take on Superman, the struggle to find such was why he turned down working on a Man of Steel-led project in 2018, only to take on the job years later after finally finding that direction.
Gunn added his goal to make Legacy "different" from the Superman movies that preceded it, but also "respect" them too:
“How can I make it different from the Superman movies that have been made so far, but also have it respect all the Superman movies that have been made so far? So it just took me some time to try to figure it out.”
Nonetheless, Gunn revealed to THR how Superman: Legacy will not be a comedy - unlike his previous superhero projects - and the director won't turn Clark Kent into another of his famously quirky characters found across Guardians of the Galaxy, The Suicide Squad, and Peacemaker.
Instead, Gunn will create a sincere superhero story for Superman, particularly noting how his own identity crisis story in Hollywood will influence Legacy.
The filmmaker sprung into the forefront of Hollywood with Guardians of the Galaxy and years later seemingly lost it all with his firing from Vol. 3, only to make a comeback as he took back the MCU threequel, got multiple DC projects under his belt, and even became co-CEO of the blue brand's film studio.
Gunn explained how he can "completely relate to Superman" as "an outsider who feels like an alien," and yet he also calls himself "the ultimate insider:"
“I completely relate to Superman because he’s everything I am. He’s somebody who is an outsider who feels like an alien, but also the ultimate insider, because he’s fucking Superman. And that’s kind of like what I feel like.”
Why Fans Shouldn't Worry About Superman: Legacy
The fears of Superman: Legacy becoming a comedy emerged due to James Gunn's filmography primarily including funnier affairs, especially when it comes to his famous superhero work. But just because the filmmaker is yet to flex his more dramatic muscles, that doesn't mean he can't switch gears into that genre.
Regardless of one's feelings about Gunn's comedic work, his talent for creating characters with emotional depth and heartfelt relationships is undeniable. And across all his past work at Marvel and DC, he has conveyed talent for creating some of the best fan-favorite superhero stories out there.
With Superman, Gunn will be looking to hold onto many of the elements that have made past blockbusters so loved, while also dialing back on the jokes. Even with that knowledge, Legacy probably won't go as far as Zack Snyder's Man of Steel in terms of seriousness. Instead, fans can probably expect a tone closer to Christopher Reeves' 20th-century classic Superman outings.
Hopefully, Gunn's latest comments will allow fans to let go of their fears of the rebooted Superman being treated like one of the filmmaker's other quirky heroes.
Over the years, the director has delivered enough strong superhero outings to earn the trust of fans, especially with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 now receiving excellent reactions from critics ahead of its May release.