The topic of Marvel’s firing of James Gunn in July of last year remains to this day a very sore spot for the multitude of Marvel Cinematic Universe fans. I mean, let's face it, Gunn IS the Guardians of the Galaxy. If Gunn had not been involved in the creation of the big screen production, who knows where it would be now. Fortunately, it is a massive box office franchise, and that success is all put at the feet of James Gunn.
Decades ago, Marvel Studios set the bar for all the big screen superhero-based films that followed. I guess one could say it all started with Robert Downey Jr's Ironman. Due to the massive success of this first attempt by Marvel, other film producers in Hollywood realized that they had to either go big or go home.
Going big meant striving to achieve the same level of Marvel's craft or settle for remaining second best. With the continuing trend of popularity of superhero based anything, to be honest, the studios began putting into place plans to knock Marvel from their perch. One of those studios was Warner Brothers studios who teamed up with the DCEU.
When Marvel Studio fired Gunn, DC saw an opportunity to move their plans forward. They offered Gunn the Suicide Squad sequel, and Gunn accepted. From the very moment the offer was made and subsequently approved, the whole playing field morphed into an entirely different landscape. And, as it did, Marvel took notice.
Kevin Feige, the big honcho over at Marvel, made a statement that tends to make one think that James Gunn could very well step up DC's game. In an attempt to play down any rivalry existing between Marvel and DC, Feige offered:
“I don’t see a rivalry, I see cool films being made. And one thing you know about James Gunn, he makes cool films.”
Many have said that this statement shows just how much of a class act Feige really is. They will also point out that it proves there is no rivalry between the MCU and DCEU. However, I feel there is more between the lines.
One can't help but feel that the continual emphasizing by Feige that there is no rivalry seems a little over excessive. In fact, one would almost say that Marvel is feeling the pressure of DC possibly knocking them off their top dog block, and might realize that letting Gunn go, and him being recruited by DC may be the beginning of the end of Marvel’s tenure. Let’s not forget just how massive of a hit DC’s Aquaman this past winter was.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Was letting Gunn go going to end up being Marvel’s downfall?