Tuesday, December 20, 2022

James Gunn Addresses Internet Hate

James Gunn on DC's Future
Folks, let's be real for a minute. When Man of Steel came out, people were annoyed that the film didn't capture the more sunny tone of classic Superman comic stories. They kicked off the series with Superman murdering his on screen nemesis and it was A LOT to take in. Then came Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, a film with enough melodrama to match its bloated name, and a soundtrack that blared and screeched and literally screamed until my head was splitting. Batman unmercifully mowed down piles of thugs alongside a nonstop parade of DC's finest comic moments chopped up and smooshed into one film as if its creators were screaming IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT YOU NERDY BASTARDS??!! No... no...... absolutely not. It's not what we wanted. GRIM DARK, the fans chanted, and the "Martha" memes were neverending. In stark contrast, the one-paragraph-long plot of Wonder Woman was an absolute ray of sunshine and Gal Gadot's portrayal made fans (mostly) forget they'd been screaming for a more physically Amazonian actress. 

Warner Bro's attempt at a DC Cinematic Universe was such a mess, it's rumored they sent undercover operatives to comic shops to ask fans what they should do to fix the DC films. The advice? Do what Marvel is doing. They didn't like that. What I had gotten from that advice was "respect the source material." That. 100 times that. 

Now, after years of success with Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and more recently, DC's Suicide Squad, James Gun has been made co-CEO of DC Studios. Surely tasked with a major course correction, the slate has been wiped clean so new creators can start from scratch, armed with a fantastic wealth of award-winning storytelling. The fan response? #FireJamesGunn

James Gunn on Suicide Squad 2

Not often one to respond to geek vitriol, Gunn made a very reserved, boundlessly hopeful statement on Twitter addressing the angry mobs.

"One of the things Peter & I were aware of when we took the job as heads of DC Studios was a certain minority of people online that could be, well, uproarious & unkind, to say the least. Our choices for the DCU are based upon what we believe is best for the story & best for the DC characters who have been around for nearly 85 years. Perhaps these choices are great, perhaps not, but they are made with sincere hearts & integrity & always with the story in mind. No one loves to be harassed or called names – but, to be frank, we’ve been through significantly worse. Disrespectful outcry will never, ever affect our actions. We were aware there would be a period of turbulence when we took this gig, & we knew we would sometimes have to make difficult & not-so-obvious choices, especially in the wake of the fractious nature of what came before us. But this means little to us in comparison to our jobs as artists & custodians in helping to create a wide & wonderful future for DC."

That said, Giddyup. I love DC Comics and I'm extremely excited Warner Bros have handed the keys to someone who will mine the depths of this epic dimension and constantly surprise us with oddball characters pushed into the spotlight alongside iconic heroes given the heart they were written with. The future looks amazing. 

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