James Gunn Fires Back At Controversial DC Villain Casting

By TeeJay Small | Published

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Since James Gunn has taken over the creative direction of the DCU, there has been a great deal of online discourse regarding upcoming casting choices. A number of fans speculate Gunn will bring many of his Guardians of the Galaxy actors along with him.

One confirmed report sees Kraglin actor, and brother of the filmmaker, Sean Gunn, taking on the role of Maxwell Lord in a host of upcoming DC films. In a now-deleted Instagram post, James Gunn defended his brothers’ casting in the role against a number of comments that pointed out Gunn’s previous promise not to have single actors portraying multiple parts.

James Gunn’s Response

While this seems, at first, to completely fly in the face of James Gunn’s previous promise that actors wouldn’t be taking on multiple roles, his words were chosen very carefully to sidestep these accusations. As Gunn cleared up in his deleted social media post, the promise applied mostly to live-action performances.

The filmmaker stated, “for voice actors it’s not the same.” Gunn went on to clarify that multiple actors, including Steve Agee, Maria Bakalova, Alan Tudyk, and Sean Gunn will all be voicing multiple characters within the Creature Commandos series.

James Gunn’s Brother Has 3 Separate DCU Castings

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Sean and James Gunn have collaborated numerous times in the past, with the screen actor taking to motion capture suits to bring CGI characters like Rocket Raccoon to life. In addition to portraying multiple Marvel roles, it looks like Sean Gunn will be portraying at least three DC characters as well. In addition to his short-lived contribution to Gunn’s 2021 DC debut in The Suicide Squad as Weasel, Sean will also be performing as GI Robot in the upcoming animated series Creature Commandos. For those keeping score at home, this clocks Sean Gunn with three separate DC cast credits on his IMDb.

Normal Practice For Animated Roles

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This is not uncommon practice for animated shows, as voice actors often possess the unique talent to craft multiple voices which could serve as a performance for multiple characters. Shows such as SpongeBob Squarepants, The Simpsons, and Futurama see talented vocal performers such as Tom Kenney, Billy West, and Hank Azaria routinely voicing characters in the double digits. James Gunn believes that this practice is so common, and that his comments were so clear, that the only way his words could be misconstrued is by bad faith actors intentionally looking for reasons to attack him.

James Gunn And Social Media

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James Gunn’s paranoia in this regard is not unfounded either. Many fans may recall Gunn’s Disney firing back in 2018, after a group of politically-motivated internet sleuths dug up a series of decades-old tasteless social media posts shared by the director, resulting in a serious blow to his career.

While Gunn managed to get rehired by Marvel the following year and finish his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, some social media users have continued to dig up new and inventive ways to sabotage the filmmaker’s illustrious career.

James Gunn Rebuilds DC

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Despite the backlash James Gunn has faced over the internet, many fans are still looking forward to see what he has in store for the future of the DCU. The franchise is set to officially kick off in 2025 with the release of Superman: Legacy.