Director James Gunn has some, ahem, *interesting* thoughts about the future of superhero/comic book films. While speaking with The Irish Times about his upcoming movie The Suicide Squad, Gunn expressed his concern about the direction comic book films are taking.
“We know about the way cowboy films went, and the way war films went,” he said. “I don’t know, I think you don’t have to be a genius to put two and two together and see that there’s a cycle to those sorts of films, and that the only hope for the future of the comic book and superhero films is to change them up. They’re really dumb. And they’re mostly boring for me right now.”
These are strong words coming from the guy who is the creative genius behind Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, and now DC’s The Suicide Squad. But then again, he has been through an unconventional journey through the superhero machine over the last couple of years, after being fired from Marvel for past offensive tweets, then hired by DC, and then rehired by Marvel. Maybe it’s time for James Gunn to say goodbye to this world?
James Gunn is bored with superhero films…unless they change
Granted, Gunn hasn’t always felt this way about the world in which he is currently thriving. “I loved them at the beginning,” he said. “I was really excited when they first started making those movies. It was about the visual effects when I saw Superman as a kid. I still love that movie. Okay, I know, that’s a guy on wires and bluescreen with this sort of crappy visual effects. And then when Iron Man came out, I was in. You’re able to make a guy fly around who looks like a guy flying around. And that was a beautiful thing to be able to do. But if the movies don’t change, it’s gonna get really, really boring.”
I’m not sure I agree with him here, especially considering the big swings the Marvel Cinematic Universe took in the season 1 finale of the Disney+ series Loki. At least for Marvel, things look to be heading in a completely new direction, with infinite limits. Marvel has managed to continue their ongoing series of movies a decade in with more audience interest and engagement than ever. So, sorry James Gunn, but I’m not sure we see eye to eye on the movies becoming boring. If we’re talking DC films, sure, but not when it comes to Marvel.
The Suicide Squad doesn’t have “silly looking CGI explosions”
All that said, Gunn does seem pretty bullish about The Suicide Squad. “We’re using more practical special effects than we’ve ever used in any movie. And to be able to really build this spectacle war film, having Super Villains as the protagonists gave me a great excuse to be able to create a film in the genre I’ve loved since I was a little kid, and to do it a big huge way, and not have to hold back in any respect. It just makes it more fun to shoot when I’m actually blowing things up as opposed to having silly looking CGI explosions.”
As much innovation as Gunn is bringing to The Suicide Squad, it’s still based on stories from DC Comics, just as the MCU is based on stories from Marvel Comics. I just don’t think they’re as repetitive as James Gunn thinks they are.
But every director has their vision, and sometimes you’re just done with the old and looking for something new. Stay tuned to see how it plays out.
h/t The A.V. Club