Marvel Gave DC Its Biggest Weapon To Use Against Them

By Christopher Isaac | Updated

guardians of the galaxy DC

With the DCEU shaping up to be rebooted next year starting with 2025’s Superman, it is hard not to see the irony that the person spearheading DC’s latest effort was basically gifted to them by Marvel. James Gunn became one of the new co-CEOS of DC Films in 2022 following him directing The Suicide Squad for them in 2021. But if you recall, Gunn only went to direct for DC in the first place because he was initially fired from directing movies at Marvel–meaning if Marvel had kept Gunn, they likely would have avoided their current opposition.

The Scandal

James Gunn DCU

James Gunn got his start with Marvel in 2012, when he signed on to create the surprise hit Guardians of the Galaxy, which hit theaters two years later. It was popular enough to not only get him brought back for a sequel, but also helped shape a lot of the modern MCU humor. However, just as Gunn was gearing up to finish his trilogy with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2018, Gunn’s past would come back to haunt him. The big scandal that would send Gunn from Marvel to DC all stemmed from tweets he had made starting back in 2008.

Tweets Are Forever

james gunn dcu

James Gunn was highly critical of Donald Trump’s politics in 2018, so in response, detractors of Gunn asked how he had any right to talk due to the old tweets they unearthed from him. This included jokes about highly sensitive topics like 9/11 and the Holocaust.

The jokes themselves might not have been out of place at a comedy club, but on a social media platform where tone and sarcasm do not convey well, they did not look good in hindsight. With the tweets resurfaced, Marvel swiftly cut ties with Gunn, leaving him a free agent for DC.

Gunn’s Friends Were There For Him

Many in Hollywood came to Gunn’s defense, including all of the major cast members of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Facing so many willing to go to bat for Gunn, Marvel finally relented and rehired him 8 months after his firing, but not before DC had already gotten him on board for The Suicide Squad.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

James Gunn did of course return to direct Marvel’s The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but apparently DC’s support when he was at his lowest was not something he forgot. One would have to imagine Gunn would have continued to have a place with Marvel if he wanted it, but DC was offering up their entire universe of characters for him to build new stories with. Gunn likely never would have built those stronger connections at DC if Marvel had not fired him in the first place.

Marvel Dug Their Own Grave

james gunn superman

So now with 2025 fast approaching, James Gunn went from being a revolutionary for the MCU, to being its biggest threat by leading the rebirth of DC films. If you are a believer in the butterfly effect, you really have to wonder how different the MCU and the new DCEU would be if Marvel had simply not caved in to pressure to fire James Gunn initially. With the MCU currently struggling to hit the same financial highs of the past, if Gunn’s Superman is successful, you really have to wonder if Marvel will be kicking themselves for giving DC its latest weapon against them.

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