He may have seen his start in superheroes through Marvel Studios, but writer-director James Gunn may make himself right at home while working for Warner Bros. and DC Films.
The Suicide Squad (2021) marks Gunn's official introduction into the DC Extended Universe. The second chance salvation of a more infamous Suicide Squad (2016) may be his first piece for the studio, it sure sounds like it won't be his last. The Peacemaker spin-off series for HBO Max is already gunning for multiple seasons through the streaming service.
"Gunn is always welcome back, whatever he wants to do," DC Films president Walter Hamada informed The Hollywood Reporter. "He really has a vision and he’s a great partner with us. Whenever he wants to come back, we’re ready for him." Hamada went on to tease Gunn returning for future projects in association with DC Films. "He’ll be back. We have more stuff planned."
Numerous creators have seen themselves two-timing between Marvel and DC over the years. It's not a rarity that the two most recognized comic book studios are caught sharing talent. Gunn has worked himself into a unique situation compared to past creatives that have been caught in similar crosshairs. He's noted as the sole driving force behind the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy while also sharing recognition for completing two DCEU projects. Critics and fans alike have been quick to praise The Suicide Squad, which has a likelihood of earning a follow-up of some degree and will probably bring Gunn along with it.
"If I read the script and didn’t know James Gunn was going to direct it, it would have been a straight-up 'no,'" Harley Quinn actress Margot Robbie said. "I was like, 'No one could pull this off.' It’s so specific in its brand of comedy and violence. But it came out of his imagination. He knew exactly what to do with it."
The Suicide Squad co-star actor-wrestler John Cena spoke just as highly as Robbie did when regarding Gunn as a screenwriter and as a director. "This is what happens when you leave a brilliant man alone with his thoughts," Cena, who plays Peacemaker, said. "I didn’t even hear what it was [before saying yes], and when I heard it was Peacemaker, I was extra excited." Cena will return to the character and star in the Peacemaker stand-alone series under the watchful eye of Gunn.
The Suicide Squad arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6. Peacemaker is slated to arrive in January 2022 as an HBO Max exclusive.