“Marvel’s Mistake” Firing James Gunn Was a “Giant Benefit for DC and WB”

The Suicide Squad is about to hit theaters and Disney+, and has mostly sold itself as being a romp through the twisted mind of writer/director James Gunn. Gunn’s name has become something of a brand unto itself, thanks to his work on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. However, Marvel shocked the world in 2018 when they fired Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3, following some “offensive old tweets” from the filmmaker that got new spotlight on social media. As quickly as Disney/Marvel fired James Gunn, Warner Bros./DC scooped him up for The Suicide Squad. And, according to one producer, “Marvel’s mistake” was of “giant benefit” to DC/WB.

The Suicide Squad producer Peter Safran was doing an interview with Deadline’s Hero Nation, and spoke about the situation at Marvel that led to James Gunn coming to Warner Bros. and DC Films:

“I think that people felt that it was an overreaction from Disney and Marvel, and I think ultimately Disney and Marvel felt it was an overreaction from Disney and Marvel,” Safran said. “Because not that long after he signed on to do Suicide Squad — and by the way, the two are not related — but not long after he signed on to do it, they reversed their decision and they invited him to come back and finish his [Guardians] trilogy. So I think that people realize that he was maybe caught up in forces that were much bigger than he was and beyond his control, and the fact that he had both apologized for many years before those tweets and had also lived a pretty exemplary life since his apology for it.”

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(Photo: WB/Marvel)

After his impassioned defense of James Gunn, Peter Safran went on to admit that Gunn’s time of suffering was actually to DC/WB’s benefit:

“Listen, it was a terrible thing when it happened, but Marvel’s mistake turned out to be a giant benefit for DC and Warner Bros.”

You have to give to Safran for always thinking like a true producer. Indeed, Gunn leaving Marvel and coming to DC/WB is looking like a tremendous boon for the latter studios. The Suicide Squad reviews are so strong that the film debuted with a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, with some calling it DC’s best film in years. If critic reviews equate to a strong box office, then Gunn coming to DC could really be money that Marvel but in its rival’s pocket.

The Suicide Squad hits theaters and HBO Max on August 6th.

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