by Ray Keating
Commentary
DisneyBizJournal.com
October 16, 2018

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, director and writer James Gunn tweeted out some inappropriate jokes. Gunn apologized years later, but it didn’t matter. Even though Gunn seems to have changed for the better, and had exceled as the director and co-writer of both Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – big hits for Disney’s Marvel Studios – Disney decided to fire Gunn from being at the helm of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Disney overwhelmingly was criticized for the firing, with many urging the House of Mouse to bring Gunn back. But no dice. Indeed, Disney’s top dog, Bob Iger, noted that the decision to let Gunn go was unanimous, he supported it, and did not second guess it.

Meanwhile, Gunn handled the entire situation professionally.

But now Gunn has the opportunity for a little revenge on Disney, as he has been hired by Warner Brothers to write a script for DC’s Suicide Squad sequel. Going to DC to get back at Marvel, or vice versa, has a long tradition in the world of comic books. Are we seeing it now in the DC-Marvel battle over big comic-book-based movies?

Clearly, Marvel has become the monster hit maker in terms of these movies, while DC has struggled, at least in relative terms. I happen to think that DC’s Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman and Justice League were pretty darn good, with Man of Steel and Wonder Woman ranking as the best. And I’m looking forward to Aquaman, Shazam! and Wonder Woman 1984.

However, I was not impressed at all with Suicide Squad. It was a movie that on paper should have been solid, but it failed miserably in execution. Critics weren’t keen on the movie either, and audience scores weren’t exactly robust. Yet, at the same time, the film raked in $747 million at the box office, according to BoxOfficeMojo.Com. Hence, the sequel.

But is this really going to be a sequel, per se? According The Hollywood Reporter, “Studio sources say that Gunn is not developing a ‘sequel’ but a brand-new take on the DC property, which features DC villains Deadshot, Harley Quinn, the Joker, Captain Boomerang and Killer Croc, who are forced into the service of the government in exchange for lighter sentences. It is unclear whether or not that means recasting, in part or wholly, the actors.”

For good measure, there is plenty of talk around that, depending on the script, Gunn could wind up directing the next Suicide Squad as well.

Interesting. One wonders if Gunn might wind up playing a role in invigorating the DC Cinematic Universe in a way that it challenges Marvel’s? Yes, that would be a form of revenge. This could get even more interesting. Just like the old comic book days – DC vs. Marvel. I know I’m going to watching.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels, with the two latest books being Reagan Country: A Pastor Stephen Grant Noveland Heroes and Villains: A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story. He can be contacted at raykeating@keatingreports.com.