James Gunn, renowned for his work on the Guardians of the Galaxy series, has transitioned into a pivotal role overseeing the new slate of DC movies. Impressively, he seems to have gleaned a crucial lesson from his tenure at Marvel.
In response to a fan’s inquiry on Instagram about whether his upcoming DC projects would share a similar “style and tone” with the Guardians movies and his work on The Suicide Squad, Gunn affirmed that each filmmaker would have the creative license to imprint their unique vision onto their respective endeavors.
“This approach will vary from project to project and will mirror the distinct sensibilities of the involved filmmakers,” Gunn stated in his social media update. With this revelation, a significant portion of my apprehensions regarding the DC Universe were promptly eased. Marvel’s Phase 5 encountered several challenges, with a notable concern being the homogeneity observed across many of the studio’s new films.
This tendency may be attributed to the fact that, at Marvel, every MCU project is obliged to integrate into the overarching narrative and must conform to the directives of the esteemed Kevin Feige. This purportedly led to considerable tensions in the past, particularly exemplified by the abrupt reboot of Daredevil season 4 even before its premiere.
Nia DaCosta, the director of the upcoming Marvel feature, The Marvels, disclosed in an interview with Vanity Fair that any MCU film is fundamentally a “Kevin Feige production” and that it ultimately reflects his artistic vision. She went on to elucidate that the filmmakers on these projects sometimes have to take a backseat. Gunn’s response strongly indicates that this won’t be the case in his cinematic realm.
While incorporating varying tones and styles from different directors might present some challenges in watching the DC movies in chronological order, we believe this diversity is ultimately beneficial. Granting each film in Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters a distinctive identity and affording directors a degree of autonomy over their creative vision diminishes the risk of franchise fatigue, resulting in superior films. After all, Gunn was afforded a substantial degree of creative freedom in crafting the Guardians movies, and they arguably stand among the finest superhero films ever produced.
It’s worth noting that Marvel also appears to be internalizing this lesson. In a recent interview with The Digital Fix, Kevin Wright, executive producer of Loki season 2, disclosed that Feige had granted their team a “tremendous amount of freedom.”
Perhaps Marvel has recognized that its dominance in popular culture is waning, and it has gleaned insights from underperforming titles like Ant-Man 3 and Secret Invasion. Regardless, it’s heartening to see that Gunn’s burgeoning franchise will provide filmmakers with greater latitude in interpreting the iconic DC characters.