James Gunn Reveals How And When DC And Marvel Have Changed His Work

James Gunn gave insight into how Marvel and DC change his movies after the initial script. It's a cool window into how much they are involved

By Doug Norrie | Updated

james gunn

One of the mysteries, at least for fans of comic book movie franchises, is just how much the studio is involved when crafting individual films. Considering most of these movies are interconnected on some level (sometimes in major ways), one would think the higher-ups at DC and Marvel would have a heavier hand in making sure there was a strict continuity between and among films. But that might not be the case and, if the great James Gunn is any indication there could be considerably more freedom than originally thought. The director shed some light on the situation over on Twitter. 

James Gunn was responding to a lengthier, and somewhat detailed question from Twitter user @Lylexxx who inquired about the studio’s involvement when it came to the final iteration of a particular script. Gunn, of course, has unique insight here, having worked with both Marvel and DC on films. That they’ve been some of the best each respective comic book house has put out helps as well. The director gave a solid answer that helps to understand how much creative freedom, at least, he had. Check it out: 

Fans will surely find this answer fascinating. I think some collective wisdom or belief would have had it that Marvel and DC movie directors and writers would be flooded with notes from the studio to make sure stories were in line with the broader franchises. But from James Gunn’s perspective, this doesn’t appear to be the case at all. He highlights the few times it happened and the reasoning behind those decisions seem only to be logistical in nature (when they happened at all). Outside of that, it would appear he was given 100% creative freedom to do what he wished. 

Now, this isn’t to say it’s the same case with every director or every project. I suspect there is something of a sliding scale around these things. And James Gunn has worked on decidedly unique projects within each larger universe of movies. His Guardians of the Galaxy Vol I was an origin story for that group who were relative unknowns (all things considered) when they first hit the big screen. The flick was amazing, but I suspect there was a longer leash there considering the characters weren’t as popular on the comic book pages as some of their movie predecessors. It is to Gunn’s credit they became such integral parts of the universe. 

And with The Suicide Squad for DC, James Gunn was essentially sent in to totally reset the mistakes of the past with the David Ayers version. Gunn was likely given considerably more creative freedom too, especially considering what Ayers has said about his director’s cut and the differences between that and the studio version.

Plus there’s the fact that this guy is just one of the best and clearly gets the source material. You’d have to assume he would have done all the research there is to do, and more when it comes to penning these scripts. Meaning he’s likely to include details above and beyond most studio notes. It’s really not all that big of a surprise these companies don’t have that much to give him. He’s already got it all taken care of.