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DC Studios boss James Gunn fillets the superhero movie genre

DC Studios is about to take a completely different tack, with a new Cinematic Universe under the direction of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. In a podcast this month, he ruthlessly pinpointed the problems of the superhero film genre.

James Gunn has been sitting in one of the hottest chairs in Hollywood since late last year. As DC Studios’ new studio head, the Guardians of the Galaxy director will have to turn the tide. Not just in the context of DC having long struggled to match the more consistent Marvel Cinematic Universe, but especially in the context of superhero movies in general not doing very well. Sure, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse It is an absolute masterpiece and above all a great success. But beyond that, both DC Studios and Marvel Studios are reeling.

New beginning for D.C.

In hindsight seems Avengers Endgame to have been the end of an era. Hopefully Gunn will prove the conclusion too drastic. In 2025, he kicks off his new DC Cinematic Universe with Superman: Legacy. This week the new Superman and Lois Lane were revealed, the faces of that new beginning.

The hard failure of The flash, a film that was nearing completion when Gunn joined DC Studios, however, further underscores just how spicy Gunn’s task is. Luckily, The Godfather is also a fan of comics, and he’s the first to acknowledge that the film genre isn’t in a very good shape right now.

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james gun (Image: ANP)

James Gunn shares plans

Recently, the 56-year-old filmmaker was a guest on the Inside of You podcast, Michael Rosenbaum, who played Superman villain Lex Luthor on the TV series. smallville. On that podcast, Gunn didn’t mince words about it.

First, the new head of the studio intends not to release too many Marvel Studios-style movies and shows: “We’ll be very careful about what we release and make sure everything is as good as it can be,” says Gunn. “DC Studios won’t be overextended with the content.

In other words: focus on the top movies, on the quality. Just like Marvel Studios once started with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, before suddenly three movies and three series a year were released on both the big screen and Disney+.

lazy superhero movies

However, according to James Gunn, that’s not the only problem facing the film genre right now. The problem is not only in the quantity, but also in how the stories are told, as the filmmaker explains: “People have become very lazy with their superhero stories and have gotten to the point of ‘Oh, he’s a superhero, come on. to make a movie about it.’”

Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t end there: “And then, ‘Oh, let’s do a sequel, because the first one did pretty well,’ and they don’t think about ‘Why is this story special? What distinguishes this story from other stories? What is the story about? Why is this character important? What makes this story so different that it fulfills the need for people in theaters to go see it?


No superhero fan will deny that Gun hits the nail on the head with no problem with that analysis. “People have gotten a little lazy and a lot of biff, pow, bam things happen in movies and I see third acts of superhero movies where I don’t really feel like there’s rhyme or reason it’s because of what happens… I don’t care about the characters. And they have become too generic.

How is DC going to fix this?

Very true, but how is Gunn going to solve that problem with his ambitious plans for a new DC Cinematic Universe? have the the suicide squaddirector thankfully about his insights, which he also shared during the podcast. The solution, he says, is to bring back “completely different genres” within the overall superhero genre, as opposed to “the kind of middle of the road genre and tone that so many superhero movies have.” He added: “I like very serious superhero movies and I like very comedic superhero movies. I like murder mystery movies, but with superheroes. I like to see these different types of stories rather than the same story over and over again.”

You could argue that Gunn na spider-verse met guardians of the galaxy vol. 3 delivered the best superhero movie in recent years, so here’s hoping it can match that quality with the new one as well. film universe, for a start Superman: Legacy. Hopefully you’re a fan of Marvel or DC. All we need.

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James Gunn discusses why superhero movies have become so mediocre

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