DC Studios CEO James Gunn once again contradicted comments he made when he announced the DC Universe slate, this time he’s claiming he does not use his films to set up other characters for their own films.
Most recently after Vanity Fair announced that Isabela Merced will play Hawkgirl, Edi Gathegi will play Mr. Terrific, and Nathan Fillion will play the Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Gunn responded to a fan worried about the upcoming Superman: Legacy film having too many characters crowding out Superman from his own film.
Threads user Weaselcatcher posted, “I’m a little worried the film will focus too much on setting up other superhero movies, will the other superheroes have a big impact on the story or will they just play a small part in the story. I still trust you’ll do something clever with it, because GOTG and TSS felt so disconnected from everything else in their franchises.”
Gunn responded, “I’ve never used one movie to set up another movie. The characters are there because they help to tell Superman’s story better, not so we can set up separate projects in the franchise. Superman and Lois are the very clear protagonists.”
However, Gunn made it abundantly clear that he planned to use diamond level characters to promote lower tier characters in the DC Universe.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Gunn revealed what one of his strategies for the DCU was, “One of our strategies is to take our diamond characters — which is Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman — and we use them to prop up other characters that people don’t know.”
His fellow DC Studios CEO Peter Safran added, “To build those lesser known properties into the diamond properties of tomorrow.”
This is not the first time Gunn has contradicted comments he made during the DC Universe slate announcement. He previously claimed The Flash film would reset the DC Universe saying, “First, we have Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Shazam has always been off kind of in his own part of the DCU so he connects very well. That moves directly into The Flash, a fantastic movie that I really love, that resets the entire DCU universe.”
An Instagram user would ask him for clarity on what he meant, “James I’m seriously confused. How is Viola Davis still playing Amanda Waller? Aren’t you rebooting the DCEU 100%? That includes peacemaker, the whole suicide squad and the Snyder Verse. Like you said Robert Pattinson’s Batman & Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker is else-worlds story.”
Gunn replied, “Flash resets many things, not all things. Some characters remain the same some do not.”
As for the idea that Gunn has never used one movie to set up another, anyone who watched Guardians of the Galaxy knows this is simply untrue. The film clearly sets up Thanos’ quest for the Infinity Stones and specifically revolves around the Power Stone that Star-Lord pilfers in the second scene of the film.
Gunn even recently took credit for the origin story of the Infinity Stones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe during a Q&A session alongside Chris Pratt on the Phase Zero YouTube channel.
However, while taking credit for it, he also revealed that the plan was already to include the Power Stone. Gunn said, “I wrote that scene in about an hour and a half. Just came up with what the Infinity Stones were. Everything’s based on that.”
He elaborated, “They were like, ‘You know were thinking about putting the Power Stone in.’ I was like, ‘Oh! That’s cool. The Collector has the Power Stone.’ And I just made up this bulls**t.”
Gunn would later state during Q&A that he wrote the scene in “a half hour and never thought about it again after that.”
Clearly, Marvel Studios had intentions of using Guardians of the Galaxy to setup a larger plot thread with the Infinity Stones, and by Gunn’s own admission he was aware of it and contributed to the origin story of the Infinity Stones in order to set up future films revolving around them.
On top of this, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 clearly sets up a third film with the post-credit scene teasing Adam Warlock.
The Suicide Squad film also features a post-credit scene setting up Gunn’s Peacemaker series on HBO Max.
After Peacemaker was shot in the throat by Bloodsport, a post-credit scene shows a doctor escorting A.R.G.U.S. agents to a recovering Peacemaker. A clear setup for the Peacemaker series on HBO Max.
What do you make of James Gunn’s comments that he does not plan to set up characters in Superman: Legacy despite previously claiming it was one of his main strategies he and Peter Safran would deploy for the DC Universe?