According to a recent interview with Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, the role that James Gunn played in the MCU seemed to be not as large of one as fans were initially led to believe.
No one can deny that the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is as popular as it is because Gunn put his own unique style on the film and turned a once considered obscure property into a significant, global hit. This led to his returning with Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 and having a hand in the summer blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War.
Gunn even stated himself, with the trend looking to be that he would be a significant mover and shaper for the MCU, that GOTG 3 would be a major key in shaping the future of the MCU for the next 10-20 years to come. His influence and position within the Marvel Studios realm seemed to be growing and pretty much permanent, as he claimed he and Feige bounced around all sorts of cosmic ideas. In 2017, Gunn said he was involved in “shepherding in the future of the Marvel cosmic universe.”
There was even a Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 3 in the works when suddenly overnight Gunn was cut loose by the studio. This out of the blue severing of ties left a fandom both in shock and confusion. If Gunn’s role in the future of the MCU was finite, then why the sudden firing? Because, it would seem that Gunn was not that deeply involved in the MCU as he claimed, or was rumored and speculated to be.
According to Kevin Feige, in an interview with CinemaBlend, Gunn’s influence in the MCU was the Guardian franchise—and only to the extent of that franchise—plain and simple. Both Guardians movies, as well as the Guardians appearance in Avengers: Infinity War were the extent of his involvement in the MCU and how it played out.
He confirmed that Gunn's Guardians 3 script was indeed going to be used for the third entry into the franchise, but reiterated that his involvement in the MCU did not reach past that point. He went on to say:
“So, you’ll see that influence. I think online, sort of the notion of ‘architect across multiple cosmic things’ was slightly blown out of proportion.”
So, what's the verdict--you decide.
Was Gunn the major player that he made himself out to be at Marvel Studios?