James Gunn was offered the chance to develop the Superman Reboot but the idea just didn’t entice him quite as much as The Suicide Squad. Set to be released next month, the Suicide Squad reboot serves as Gunn’s first foray into the DCEU. It’s the result of his controversial firing from Marvel in 2018, though he’s since been rehired as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
At the time of his firing, James Gunn was a hot commodity due to the success of his work at Marvel Studios. Despite the controversy, Warner Bros. saw the value in bringing in Gunn to develop a new comic book adaptation, and it wasn’t long before he was contacted by the studio. So eager to get Gunn on board, the studio even threw out one of DC’s most popular characters as an option. Speaking about the situation in a new interview with the New York Times, Gunn revealed that they really wanted him to take on the next Superman.
“They proposed that to me. Toby Emmerich [the Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman], he works out with my manager, and every morning he would say, “James Gunn, Superman. James Gunn, Superman.”
Undeniably, taking on Superman is a huge opportunity for any filmmaker, but Gunn wasn’t quite ready to commit just yet to such a big project. He was still feeling the trauma of his Marvel firing and understandably found it difficult to focus on exactly what he wanted to do next. Rather than immediately taking the bait on Superman, Gunn explains that he instead took some time to consider some different options, and things ended up taking off with The Suicide Squad.
“At that time I said I can’t commit myself to something right now. It was traumatic. I had to deal with myself. I just have to take a step back. So I took the different possibilities of projects I could work on, and for a month, every day I worked on a different project. I really wanted to make sure that whatever I was going to write was going to be a great story, and if it worked out and I felt like directing it, I could. Suicide Squad was just the one that came to life immediately.”
Meanwhile, the Superman franchise will continue with a new creative direction at Warner Bros. Ta-Nehisi Coates has since been hired to pen the script for a Superman reboot that will reportedly introduce the first Black superman on the big screen. A director hasn’t yet been attached to that project. The news also seemingly diminishes the odds of Henry Cavill getting a Man of Steel sequel, something his fans had been campaigning for.
The Suicide Squad will be released in theaters and on HBO Max on Aug. 6, though Gunn has recommended watching the movie on the biggest screen you can. Recently, he also wrapped the spinoff series Peacemaker with John Cena, which will premiere on HBO Max in early 2022. Next, he is set to start filming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 this year with the Marvel sequel planned for a release on May 5, 2023. The new interview with Gunn can be read at The New York Times.