Why James Gunn Ended Up Working For Marvel Studios And DC Studios Simultaneously

For the March 2023 Issue of Empire Magazine, James Gunn talked about what it was like working for both studios. Calling post-production on “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” his “day job,” Gunn joked that planning DC Studios’ future is “a very healthy part-time job that’s at least another 40 to 60 hours a week.” As for why he returned to finish the “Guardians” trilogy, he had a straightforward answer: “It’s because I needed to finish the story. And especially because I needed to finish Rocket’s story.”

The first “Guardians” movie sent shockwaves through the film industry, defying skeptics who doubted a movie featuring a talking CGI raccoon and tree would catch on. Instead, it became one of 2014’s top-grossing films and established Gunn as a filmmaker capable of telling human stories with otherworldly backdrops.

Letting another director tackle “Vol. 3” would put the film at risk of being tonally and possibly even thematically disparate from the first two installments. Moreover, Gunn couldn’t leave the “Guardians” cast hanging, not least of all because he hopes to work with them again:

“This cast is like my family. I cannot tell you how close I am to Chris Pratt and Pom [Klementieff] and Dave [Bautista] and Zoe [Saldaña] and Karen [Gillian]. But I also know I will work with all those people individually again. Probably at my other job.”

The “Vol. 3” trailer has set the stage for what looks to be an emotional farewell, both onscreen and in the sense that, for now, Gunn’s DC responsibilities mean his days at Marvel are over. No matter where he’s at, though, Gunn will surely bring the same passion for story and character with him.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” hits theaters on May 5, 2023.

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