James Gunn’s outspokenness on social media got him in trouble in the past, causing him to delete his accounts for a period of time. Last time, it was a series of rediscovered jokes and posts of a perverse nature that briefly cost him his job at Marvel. The Internet was aghast but Warner Bros. brought him aboard without flinching to reinterpret The Suicide Squad.

James Gunn and Chris Pratt attend the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood CA on Thursday, April 27, 2023.

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History has repeated itself as a set of Facebook comments have resurfaced. What Gunn had to say involved a negative opinion of two Batman movies. Though not as lurid or offensive as his other batch of posts, they are awkward considering Gunn’s new position. Moreover, they are polarizing enough to renew calls for his firing.

Gunn, the co-president of DC Studios, does not like Tim Burton’s first Batman movie or Christopher Nolan’s initial crack at the Caped Crusader, Batman Begins. As highly regarded as those films are to this day, and despite how successful they proved to be, Gunn was unable to get into them and did not see what the hype was about.

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He had a few bones to pick with the 1989 film, writing, “The Tim Burton Batman is poorly written, the soundtrack is the worst work of everyone involved, and it is absolutely one of the most boring films ever. Before we go further, we can all agree that Prince had no business being involved with the film, right?”

Gunn did not think Jack Nicholson was a good Joker either, writing the performance off as a cheap imitation of Jack Torrance in The Shining wearing ugly clown makeup. As for Michael Keaton, considered by most the par excellence of Batman actors, Gunn – pining for the days of Adam West – could not stand his voice or his acting.

Jack Nicholson as the Joker in "Batman" - Warner Bros.

Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Batman (1989), Warner Bros.

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“And, on top of everything, the dark creature of the night can’t even move his f**king neck. Give me a f**king break It’s a ridiculous, awful film. Burton’s Planet of the Apes is genius in comparison. Now that is a take…” he added. It took him two movies, but Nolan fixed the problem of Batman turning his head.

Not that this changed Gunn’s mind. “I have problems with both of Nolan’s films – I don’t think either one is classic, and I don’t even really think Batman Begins is good […] despite being the first cinematic dark take on Batman (so what? Stallone’s Judge Dredd was the first dark take on Judge Dredd), the movie is awful,” he opined.

Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne in Batman (1989), Warner Bros. Pictures

We wonder what Gunn’s opinion of The Batman is. He must be okay with it if he is willing to let Matt Reeves move ahead with a standalone BatVerse right under his nose.

The same can’t be said for Michael Keaton, it seems, as the wings of his comeback were clipped. James Gunn’s remarks go a long way in potentially explaining why.

Ezra Miller, Michael Keaton, and Ezra Miller (again) as The Flash, Batman, and The Flash (again) in Andy Muschietti’s, “The Flash.”

What do you make of Gunn’s past comments?

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  • About The Author

    JB Augustine

    Writer, journalist, comic reader. I cover all things DC and Godzilla. Fan since Batman TAS was brand new. Favorite character is between Swamp Thing and Darkwing Duck.