James Gunn Claims “Cameo Porn” Is “One Of The Worst Elements Of Recent Superhero Films”, Previously Praised ‘The Flash’ As “Probably One Of The Greatest Superhero Movies Ever Made”

Superman (CGI) and Supergirl (CGI) watch on as the Multiverse collapses in The Flash (2023), Warner Bros. Discovery
Superman (CGI) and Supergirl (CGI) watch on as the Multiverse collapses in The Flash (2023), Warner Bros. Discovery

Another day, another flip-flop from James Gunn, this time as the DC Studios co-head now claims to view the concept of ‘cameo porn’ as detrimental to modern day superhero films despite previously praising of The Flash – replete with its abundance of previous DC cinematic characters and disrespectful actor revivals via CGI – as one of the genre’s greatest achievements.

Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) watches on as the Multiverse collapses in The Flash (2023), Warner Bros. Discovery
Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) watches on as the Multiverse collapses in The Flash (2023), Warner Bros. Discovery

RELATED: James Gunn Surprisingly Ditches Jimmy Olsen Race-Swapping Trend, Casts Skyler Gisondo As Red-Headed Reporter In “Superman: Legacy”

Gunn offered his latest take on the topic amidst a discussion on the Threads social media site regarding the bevy of other DC super heroes confirmed to appear alongside Big Blue in the comic book filmmaker’s upcoming Superman: Legacy, who at current includes The Engineer (María Gabriela de Faría), Guy Gardner (Nathan Fillion), Hawkgirl (Isabela Merced), Mister Terrific (Edi Gathegi), and Metamorpho (Anthony Carrigan).

James Gunn discusses his plans for Superman: Legacy's cameos via Threads
Archive Link James Gunn via Threads

Following a confirmation from Gunn that the above roles – as well as David Corenset as Superman, Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane, Nicholas Hoult as Lex Luthor, and Skyler Gisondo as Jimmy Olsen – were the only ones to be confirmed thus far for the upcoming Superman film, the director-turned-studio-runner was met with a request from user @gagemusicx, who asked, “No more, please, we want a Superman movie lol.”

In turn, Gunn pushed back, “What single-protagonist movie doesn’t have more than ten speaking roles?” before confirming that “There will be more”.

James Gunn discusses his plans for Superman: Legacy's cameos via Threads
Archive Link James Gunn via Threads

RELATED: James Gunn Kills ‘Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom’ In Its Cradle By Declaring: “Nothing Is Canon Until ‘Creature Commandos’”

Attempting to bring clarity to the conversation, @jamesedwardfrost then informed Gunn, “I think what they’re saying is ‘Please no more superhero cameos setting up the new DC universe (in what you’ve repeatedly said is a standalone Superman movie).'”

To this, the Superman: Legacy director confirmed, “None of these roles is [sic] cameos.”

James Gunn discusses his plans for Superman: Legacy's cameos via Threads
Archive Link James Gunn via Threads

Soon after its conclusion, this exchange would receive coverage from comicbookmovie.com in the form of an article headlined “Superman: Legacy Director James Gunn Defends Reboot’s Large Cast And Says Superheroes Aren’t Just Cameos“, which itself eventually drew a further response on the topic from Gunn himself.

Responding to the @Jamesgunnnews Threads account’s sharing of the above article, Gunn asserted, “The whole point was it’s NOT a large film -I mean, not in terms of cast.”

“It’s normal for single protagonist films to have other characters,” he added, “Much more unusual for them not to.”

James Gunn discusses his plans for Superman: Legacy's cameos via Threads
Archive Link James Gunn via Threads

Responding to Gunn’s confirmation that Superman: Legacy‘s super powered cast would serve as more than simple audience bait, @Drizzleboy declared, “Finally, someone who treats characters more than just *having a character appear on screen for 10 seconds to mark a checkbox*”.

“I call that ‘Cameo Porn’ and it has been one of the worst elements of recent superhero films,” Gunn opined in reply. “If a character is in film, they have to have a reason to be there story-wise.”

James Gunn discusses his plans for Superman: Legacy's cameos via Threads
Archive Link James Gunn via Threads

Elaborating on his take to a fan, @beachedmerrdog, who argued that a given cameo could be enjoyable if it “serves the plot”, Gunn asserted, “I don’t mind actual cameos – if it’s a glimpse or a moment, an Easter egg. What bothers me is when they mangle an elegant story by shoehorning characters in – they aren’t there because the story calls for it, but for some other reason.”

James Gunn discusses his plans for Superman: Legacy's cameos via Threads
Archive Link James Gunn via Threads

Offering his final thought in this particular discussion to @mftiii, who likewise argued that the concept of cameos was not inherently detrimental in and of itself, Gunn ultimately noted, “That’s fine if it doesn’t disrupt the story. It’s the plot contrivances that develop from a cameo, not the cameo itself.”

James Gunn discusses his plans for Superman: Legacy's cameos via Threads
Archive Link James Gunn via Threads

As noted above, while Gunn’s take in and of itself is not disagreeable – in fact, recent years have seen many fans and creators speaking out against studios’ incessant need to stuff their productions with nonsensical and empty cameos in order to trick audiences into seeing their film (*coughTheMarvelscough*) – the fact that it comes from the same man who roughly one year ago offered up the Scarlet Speedster’s solo disaster, which literally did everything the DC Studio head is now complaining about, as a pinnacle of the superhero genre brings into question the very reputation of the silver-haired man who uttered it.

Speaking to Deadline during a January press event regarding his upcoming plans for DC’s cinematic future, Gunn outright asserted that The Flash – the same film that opened with flashes of Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck’s Wonder Woman and Batman, used Man of Steel‘s antagonists as its own, brought back Michael Keaton’s Caped Crusader, used CGI to parade around the likenesses of such late actors as George Reeve, Christopher Reeve, Adam West, and Cesar Romero for cheap ‘memberberry’ points, replaced Nic Cage’s confirmed-shot-on-set-appearance with a digital doppelganger, possibly used Teddy Sears’ likeness without informing him, and closed out on a guest spot from George Clooney’s own take on the Dark Knight – “is probably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.”

George Reeves' incarnation of Superman (CGI) is erased from existence in The Flash (2023), Warner Bros. Discovery
George Reeves’ incarnation of Superman (CGI) is erased from existence in The Flash (2023), Warner Bros. Discovery

As of writing, Gunn’s Superman: Legacy is currently set to make landfall on July 11th, 2025.

NEXT: After Claiming The Reason He Fired Henry Cavill Was Because Of His Age, James Gunn Now Says “I Was Never Making A ‘Young Superman’ Movie

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