The latest Guardians of the Galaxy trailer just came out and is shaping up to be another hit for Marvel and James Gunn. The latter, of course, is now serving as a co-CEO of DC Studios, along with Peter Safran. What this means for fans is that in the coming years, the man who helmed a significant part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s space-related projects is now bringing his magic to the distinguished competition. We take a look at several ways Gunn will elevate DC to the level it can take the MCU down.
4 epic ways James Gunn will help DC beat the MCU
4. Perfecting what’s working in the DCEU
Ever since the DCEU was launched way back during the premiere of Man of Steel in 2013, there were certainly more misses than hits. While the casting of Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, and Gal Gadot as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman respectively, there was a lot to be desired when it came to the franchise’s slate of films and how these stories were woven before.
Of course, everyone knew what happened with the DCEU crashing and burning by the time the first Justice League came out in 2017. With Joss Whedon butchering what was supposed to be DC’s crown jewel of a film, the overall franchise was left in a lowly state, one that allowed the MCU to be a clear winner in the battle of superhero movies.
This is where James Gunn and his brilliant mind comes in. Unlike those who came before, the Guardians of the Galaxy director is a true fan at heart and knows these comic book characters down to their core. The new DC Studios head will surely recognize what’s working and discard the elements that aren’t. This can be seen with Cavill making a return during the post-credits scene of Black Adam, a move that solidifies the actor’s place in DC’s future.
It’s expected that Gunn will round out all the remaining actors, like Gadot and Jason Momoa, and add significant new pieces to the board, such as Robert Pattinson’s Batman and The Rock’s Black Adam. Once the pieces are all in place, fans will see how these individuals will work out as a new era of DC films and projects start pouring in.
3. James Gunn will use every medium available to tell the best story
A few weeks ago, Gunn confirmed that the DC Universe won’t just be about films or a bunch of shows as a string of animation projects and video games will also be used to further the franchise. This is a welcome development since animated series or films and video games are two areas DC excels better than the MCU.
Some of DC's animated films and video games will be canon within the new DCU, according to James Gunn
— Lights, Camera, Barstool (@LightsCameraPod) November 27, 2022
If Gunn makes this idea work and manages to synergize the potential of animated projects and video games with the major films and shows, the DCEU will definitely be able to tell more stories in a short amount of time. In this way, Gunn will be able to make a cohesive universe, even an interactive one, to give fans a more immersive experience with these DC characters. If done properly, that’s going to be another major win for the Guardians of the Galaxy director
2. Capitalizing on DC’s rich history
Similar to Marvel, DC has a very rich library of great stories in the comics. The thing is, the Kevin Feige-led studio is just more successful so far in adapting those story arcs to the big screen and making them more relatable to fans. But even if that’s the case, DC still has the chance to make it big, as long as someone with passion and creativity can find those stories and make them work in different mediums.
DC Films Will Follow a Ten-Year Plan Similar to What Disney and Marvel Have Done. @warnerbros. Discovery’s ideas for its DC movies are becoming a little clearer after CEO David Zaslav announced there will be a codified plan for the future of DC movies.
As part of Warner Bros. pic.twitter.com/PPDtrWGOX3
— Rafei (@Rafeihade1998) August 5, 2022
Fortunately, James Gunn has what it takes to bring those beloved stories from the comics to take the DCEU to the next level. If anything, what the director has done with Guardians of the Galaxy, a team that was almost invisible before the 2014 film, is certainly worthy of recognition. If Gunn can take a bunch of misfits and transform them into a massive juggernaut at the box office, surely he can take DC’s best characters and the stories that defined them in the comics to produce a better effect. If done right, fans can expect a string of projects that will drown in hype and live up to everyone’s expectations faster than expected.
1. An Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame-level event
When it was announced in 2014, Avengers: Infinity War gave MCU fans a good reason to stay tuned to the franchise’s upcoming films over the years. Their dedication paid off when the film came out in 2018 and Endgame gave the Infinity Saga a very satisfying conclusion in 2019. In many ways, this is what James Gunn has to do for DC Studios to win the hearts and minds of fans everywhere.
In this regard, Gunn will have a lot of options on the table for the DCEU. For one, there’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, a massive crossover event during the 80s that brought every DC’s vast multiverse during that time and transformed it into a singular universe. There’s Final Crisis, a comic event Zack Snyder teased as the endgame for his DC stint, and a story in which Darkseid is the primary antagonist. Of course, there’s also Kingdom Come, a comic book event set within a dystopian future and features an older generation of heroes fighting against a young one.
Making plans. pic.twitter.com/cubPgga066
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) November 30, 2022
With this tease from Gunn himself, it’s clear that DC Studios is building something massive up for the future. If he manages to make the right moves, including one or several of the entries above, the MCU will surely face a good fight from DC with Gunn spearheading the franchise’s effort to become relevant. In any case, no one will definitely lose as more great films and projects are expected to drop in the coming years.