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James Gunn Had an Epiphany After Disney Fired Him 'On the Worst Day' Of His Life

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | June 13, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | June 13, 2023 |


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I do not have passionate allegiances when it comes to superhero films because I save my passionate allegiances for important things, like National League East teams and brands of macaroni and cheese (Annies over Kraft by a mile). If I had to choose between the MCU and the DCEU, however, that would be a fairly easy choice: The MCU has been flattened into a formulaic paste, and while the DCEU f**ks up a lot, it at least takes some risks. It tries different things, and Birds of Prey, Peacemaker, and The Suicide Squad are better than anything the MCU has done since Captain Marvel (although, She-Hulk was also fun).

The point is: James Gunn has been a good influence on superhero films in general, and more recently the DCEU specifically. I like him. I loved Slither. I love the Troma influence. And superhero fatigue never fully set in for the Guardians franchise.

James Gunn was on Michael Rosenbaum’s podcast this week because the two have been friends for a long time, dating back to PG Porn. Gunn has an unusual circle of friends and regulars to whom he remains loyal. It’s something else I like about him. On the podcast, he talked about all number of things, like how excited he is about making Superman now that the script is finished, how he has a good bead on who he wants to play the role but none of the trades know what they’re talking about, and how he wrote a very funny speech for Chris Pratt to read at his wedding—it had something to do with how Pratt owed his entire career to Gunn, how Gunn’s wife is hotter than Pratt’s wife, and how much better the Guardians movies are than the Jurassic World movies (it was all very tongue-in-cheek).

Gunn also spoke about the “worst day of his life,” namely the day that Disney fired him temporarily for controversial old tweets. It was not a good time for Gunn, who thought that he had lost everything he’d worked his career to gain. “For a beat there, it was like ‘Holy shit. I have been working my entire life to be loved by all these people, by the world, so that I could feel OK about myself. And everything I worked for is gone.”

Gunn feared that his career was completely over and that he’d have to sell his house and move away. “It was really devastating, for about an hour… but the thing that was so amazing to me is that, in that moment of lowness, when I couldn’t help anyone—because I’d had a fair amount of power for a while—is when people came to me and showed me the greatest love. People like [Rosenbaum], especially my future wife, [Jennifer Holland], my family, my mom and dad, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista… all the Guardians, Zoe [Saldana] coming over and cooking me dinner, Sylvester Stallone. The amount of people that showed me this love at this moment when I was completely weak… it was stunning to me, and for the first time in my life, I felt loved.”

“And so that thing I have been searching for my entire life—to feel loved—I could not experience it until I let go of my desperation to receive it… I woke up that morning thinking it was the worst day of my entire life. I lay in my bed thinking, ‘I hate being f**king famous. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.’ But I went to bed that night, lying next to Jen, and I looked over at her, and I realized… this was the best day of my life.”

“That was the beginning of everything, the beginning of my second life.”

Gunn did continue pushing his belief that The Flash is one of the best superhero movies ever made, although he also admitted that Into the Spiderverse and its sequel are actually the best superhero movies ever made. He’s not wrong about that.

Source: Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum