James Gunn fans were dealt a moderate scare this past week when the acclaimed director was thought to have left this mortal coil. That ended up not being the case, though the details around the mistake are no less tragic. Apparently, there was confusion about the death of a writer with the same name, and that led fans to hit the internet fast and hard with rumors that the director had met his demise.
The confusion in reporting around director James Gunn came when Deadline reported that author James Gunn had passed away at the age of 97. To their credit, Deadline was pretty clear in the headline about the author’s age, leaving little doubt this wasn’t the Hollywood director. But regardless, fans are going to fan and there was much ado that the Guardians of the Galaxy guy wasn’t going to be making movies going forward. It led to the younger and alive James Gunn to put this out on Twitter:
James Gunn, the author, passed away in late December, though Deadline’s obituary was actually printed just last week on February 12th. The writer published 16 science-fiction novels and a number of short story collections. One of his books, The Immortals, was actually turned into a television series in 1970. And for all you Trekkies out there, he did publish The Joy Machine which was an interpretation and retelling of the original Star Trek episode of the same name.
So for those worried about the director James Gunn, worry not. This guy has still plenty of work ahead of him, some coming sooner than later. Of course, he’s best known for his work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 and Vol 2. Those movies were critical stories in the Infinity Saga and were massive hits at the box office as well, earning more than $1.6 billion worldwide.
Next up, he’s moving over to the DC Universe with a reboot film, helming The Suicide Squad. This will try to reignite the franchise after the missteps in the original David Ayers’ version. Gunn will carry over Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, and Violet Davis as Amanda Waller from the original. But the rest of the cast is new with Idris Elba and John Cena joining as Bloodsport and Peacemaker respectively. There’s significant hope this film can win over a larger audience with a better script and a more comedic tone which we’ve seen in Gunn’s previous work.
So for those who might have panicked about the “status” of James Gunn and his upcoming projects, worry not. He still has the aforementioned Suicide Squad coming along with a number of other projects. There’s the television series spin-off Peacemaker coming to HBO Max starring Cena. That recently began filming. And he’s also in pre-production for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. The script for that film has already been penned.
While the world lost a great author in James Edwin Gunn, the director James Gunn is still very much alive and well. You’ll be able to catch his much-anticipated string of movies and shows soon enough.