As controversies mount and fans irk, James Gunn defends his choices as new DC boss

A man with white hair and a beard wearing glasses and a rainbow shirt while speaking into a microphone on stage

James Gunn attends the 2022 Comic-Con International in San Diego. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/Associated Press)

James Gunn is well aware of the repercussions on the early creative decisions he made as the new co-head of DC Studios. But he doesn’t back down.

In a statement shared on social media Monday, Gunn addressed the “disrespectful outcry” over his and co-chair Peter Safran’s vision for the DC Extended Universe. The “Suicide Squad” filmmakers, who were appointed to head up DC Studios in October, have been heavily criticized in recent weeks for making major changes to some of the production company’s most popular superhero franchises.

“One of the things that Peter and I were aware of when we took the job as head of DC Studios was a certain minority of people online who could be loud and unkind to say the least,” Gunn wrote in his statement.

“Our choices for the DCU are based on what we believe is best for the story and what’s best for the DC characters who have been around for nearly 85 years. Maybe these choices are great, maybe they aren’t, but they were made with sincere hearts and integrity & always with the story in mind.”

Gunn and Safran came under fire this month after reports surfaced that Warner Bros. Discovery had decided to scrap DC’s “Wonder Woman 3,” starring Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins. The Hollywood Reporter’s scoop noted that the new DC bosses were among the executives who made the controversial call for the project to be shelved.

Internet research into Gunn and Safran later intensified after Henry Cavill revealed that the duo fired him as Superman – despite the actor recently announcing his return to the role at the behest of the studio before Gunn and Safran took over.

“Nobody likes to be harassed or yelled at, but honestly we’ve been through a lot worse,” Gunn continued in his statement Monday.

“Disrespectful outrage will never, ever influence our actions. We were aware that there was going to be a period of turbulence when we took on this gig, and we knew that sometimes we would have to make difficult and not-so-obvious choices. making, especially in the wake of the disjointed nature of what lay ahead. But this means little to us compared to our jobs as artists and administrators in helping create a broad and wonderful future for DC.”

A number of entertainment figures associated with Warner Bros. Discovery — which included Henry Golding (“Crazy Rich Asians”), Michael B. Jordan (“Creed”), and Zachary Levi (“Shazam!”) — supported Gunn in the comments section.

“The man in the arena,” Golding posted along with a heart and punching emoji.

“Amen,” wrote Levi.

Elsewhere in the comments section, Gunn disagreed with a fan who accused the studio heads of “making the move to boot Gadot” from the “Wonder Woman” franchise.

“I’m not sure where you get that we ‘mimated’ Gal,” Gunn said.

Last week, Jenkins — who also helmed the first two “Wonder Woman” films — released a statement setting the record straight about the third installment’s demise.

“I never ran away,” she wrote. “I was open to whatever was asked of me. I understood that there was nothing I could do to move forward at this point.”

Both Jenkins and Cavill acknowledged in their comments that the studio is going through a transition period due to its recent merger with Warner Bros. Discovery, and neither had anything negative to say about Gunn or Safran.

Wonder Woman “is an incredible character,” Jenkins said. “Living in and around her values ​​makes one a better person every day. I wish her and her legacy a great future, with or without me.”

“Superman is still here,” Cavill said. “Everything he stands for still exists, and the examples he gives us are still there! My turn to wear the cape is over, but what Superman stands for will never happen. It was fun riding with you all , onwards and upwards.”

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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