James Gunn Getting Rid Of Cameos In DC Movies?

By Robert Scucci | Updated

DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn has gone on record stating that cameos in superhero movies are a big problem that he wants to avoid. In a lively discussion with fans on Threads, Gunn suggested that cameos that actually carry the story forward aren’t necessarily the problem, but rather when a studio shoehorns a familiar face into a story when they have no narrative purpose. The former Marvel director refers to the latter as “Cameo Porn” and will try to avoid it at all costs.

James Gunn Vows To Avoid Unnecessary Cameos In DC Movies

It’s apparent that fans of superhero movies agree with James Gunn in spades. Threads user @beachedmerdog replied to Gunn, and added that unnecessary cameos are also no fun for audience members. His main point of contention is that if cameos don’t serve the story, they take the viewer out of the film without providing the payoff one would expect from working in an additional character.

A Brand New DC

blue beetle

As we all know, James Gunn and Peter Safran are gearing up to reboot the entire DCU after Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom premieres on December 22, 2023, effectively closing out the DCEU as we know it. And by the sounds of it, not only will the reboot reset the universe’s timeline, but also viewer expectations when it comes to cameos. In other words, the upcoming release slate will, in fact, be a clean slate, so to speak.

Superman: Legacy Kicks Things Off

Superman: Legacy

Though the DCU reboot is still over a year out on the cinematic front, James Gunn announced back in January that Superman: Legacy will be his primary focus. In his own words, Gunn has described the upcoming film as a “true start” to the studio’s intended overarching narrative, and will center on a young Clark Kent portrayed by David Corenswet. But it’s also worth noting that although we’re going to be presented with an earlier timeline, Legacy will not place a strong emphasis on Superman’s origin story.

Chapter 1: Gods And Monsters

That is to say, James Gunn isn’t just tired of the overuse of cameos in superhero movies, but also the overuse of origin stories. By now, most Marvel and DC fans have experienced what we can refer to as “origin story fatigue.” And when it comes to more well-known characters like Superman, his early days have been covered ad nauseam in countless films, comics, and TV series over the decades.

Superman: Legacy is currently slated for a July 11, 2025 theatrical release, and will mark the new DCU under James Gunn’s guidance. The franchise’s first phase will fall under the Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters umbrella, and will kick off on the television front with Creature Commandos and Waller in 2024. Other series that are in active development for Chapter 1 include Lanterns, Paradise Lost, Booster Gold, and Peacemaker Season 2.

Upcoming DCU Movies

On the cinematic front, James Gunn is making Superman: Legacy a priority now that he’s wrapped up his tenure with Marvel Studios. Though Legacy has an official release date, The Authority, The Brave New World, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, and Swamp Thing are all currently in development at the time of this writing. Though it’s been made clear that James Gunn is tired of the overuse of cameos in superhero movies, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that we’ll see some crossover in the new DCU. They will just have to serve the story if Gunn has anything to say about it.