Timeline: James Gunn’s long and winding road from Troma to the top of DC Studios
James Gunn has always seemed like more than just the face of the studio he helmed. He’s a producer, an artist and a storyteller. So when he moved over to Warner Bros. to direct next summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy, he became a Hollywood star.
Gunn’s been with the Wachowskis since before they were both in the business. He co-founded Troma Entertainment for which he directed several films including Bad Lieutenant and Toxic Crusaders. Troma even produced the documentary How to Punk Your Death: James Gunn, The Rise and Fall of Tromeo & Juliet. He produced the first two Guardians movies, Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
He was a fan of the comics, and was so close to the first movie, that he was given the task of producing it. But he and the Wachowskis clashed, with Fox, which has released his movies, going over his head and giving the director $500,000.
The first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies have both done great business overseas and it seems like Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will too. But with the upcoming Justice League, Fox may not be willing to wait this time, which would put Gunn back on the Wachowskis’ dime and it could put the director at a crossroads again. We talked to him about his next move and how he’s trying to move forward. We got to be friends because of our shared interest in comics.
How’s life up to this point?
I’m at a point now where I’ve moved on from making Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s a period where I’m starting to be able to do the things that I love again. I’ve done two movies, one of which was a total disaster, and I love doing the one that is a success or near success. I love making Guardians of the Galaxy now, and