James Gunn will join Peter Safran as co-chairman and co-CEO of DC Studios on November 1, but the director does not see his new role as a rival to Marvel Studios. Recently, the filmmaker resorted to social media to dispel any impression of a competition between the two comic book studios. Gunn also expressed love for Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige, with whom he has collaborated on three “Guardians of the Galaxy” films and one “Guardians” television special.
“Not only do I love Kevin [Feige], but he was the first person I told after I struck the deal with DC (John Cena was the second),” Gunn said in a letter to fans. “Unlike common assumption, a dollar less for Marvel does not equal a dollar more for DC. The goal of DC and Marvel is to make the theatre experience dynamic and alive!”
Following the revelation of Gunn’s hiring at DC Studios, Feige also stated his support for him. “Fully, he has a lot of work to do for Marvel between now and May, which he’s well aware of,” Feige said on the red carpet at the world premiere of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” this week. But after that, I’ll be the first in line to see whatever he does.”
Gunn’s DC gig begins on November 1, although he still has two Marvel films in the works: “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” premieres on Disney+ on November 25, and his trilogy-ending “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” hits theatres on May 5, 2023.
Gunn and Safran will manage cinema, television, and animation at DC Studios, reporting to Warner Bros. Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav. They will also work closely with Warner Bros. Film Group co-chairs and CEOs Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy. Both are likely to work on further projects outside of DC.
“We’re pleased to be the caretakers of these DC characters we’ve adored since we were children,” Gunn and Safran said in a joint statement announcing the development. “We are excited to work with the world’s most talented writers, directors, and performers to create an interconnected, multifaceted environment that allows for the individual expression of the artists engaged.”