James Gunn Reacts To His New Role For DC

By Nathan Kamal | 2 months ago

james gunn

James Gunn posted on Twitter this morning to express something he has apparently been holding back for a while: he is joining the DCEU in a brand new role. Up until now, the writer-director of The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker has been a strictly behind-the-scenes guy, but now Gunn is preparing to actually act in a DC project. It was announced that Gunn will be appearing on the animated Harley Quinn show in its upcoming third season. And Gunn has been cast in the role he was born to play: himself. Here’s what James Gunn had to say about it: 

Harley Quinn will not be the first time that James Gunn has stepped in front of the camera, but it will be one of the more notable instances. While Gunn is a well-regarded and popular filmmaker, his IMDb list of acting credits shows that he has mostly performed cameos in his own work, appeared on some web series, and early in his career with legendary trash-film studio Troma Entertainment, a few brief roles. For this upcoming appearance as himself on Harley Quinn, Gunn is apparently in production for a fictional film based on the life of the late Thomas Wayne. It is not known yet how Harley Quinn and her band of goofily-sketched villains will become involved with Gunn’s movie within the series, but given that it is about a certain famous Gotham City billionaire playboy’s father, it probably won’t take a big leap to imagine that Batman (voiced in this incarnation by Diedrich Bader) will be involved. 

james gunn

While Harley Quinn will likely take a lighter take on the subject, it is notable that the character of Thomas Wayne has seen notable changes in characterization in the last few years. While Batman’s parents spent decades as more of a motivational plot mechanism than actual characters, several DC Comics storylines explored Thomas with greater detail (including a controversial one that posited him orchestrating the death of Martha Wayne). In movies, the character was portrayed by Brett Cullen in 2019’s Joker as an opportunistic and self-serving industrialist, while Matt Reeves’ The Batman presents him as a morally compromised aspiring politician. Who knows what the fictional James Gunn’s take will be, but it probably won’t be quite as grim as either one of those. 


After years of making relatively low-budget films like the alien-invasion body horror Slither and the brutal superhero riff Super, James Gunn exploded into the mainstream with the MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy. One of the riskier attempts by Marvel at the time, given the relatively low awareness of the titular group, it became an enormous success, spawning a sequel and an upcoming third installment. He also has become the only filmmaker thus far (and likely for a while, given Matt Reeves’ comments) to crossover and back between Marvel and DC films. His HBO Max show Peacemaker became an enormous streaming and critical success, and he reportedly is already working on new mystery projects for the DCEU. But between that and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, we will get to see Cartoon James Gunn, and that sounds fun too.