Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big fan of James Gunn. While I loved Zack Snyder’s directorial debut with the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake, it was Gunn’s script that really brought the film to life for me (as well as the kick-ass cinematography by Matthew F. Leonetti). SLITHER was frantic, fantastical fun while his SUPER was one of the quirkiest and most-brave superhero flicks I’ve ever seen. If I ignore the fact that he wrote both of the live-action SCOOBY-DOO films, then to me, Gunn’s an underrated genius of modern- day cinema. Since that’s my opinion of the man, I was obviously psyched when it was announced that he’d be directing Marvel Studios’ upcoming big-screen adaptation of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.
Unfortunately for Gunn, when anyone suddenly pops into the spotlight from out of nowhere, the paparazzi, bloggers and critics like to go digging for dirt in order to ensure that they look good and their target looks bad. This dirt surfaced a couple weeks ago when a two-year-old post from Gunn’s blog was discovered.
The post discovered was titled Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With and consisted of a poll alongside commentary by Gunn himself. The commentary was meant to be satirical and funny, but it could very easily be taken as offensive and discriminatory towards women, gays and lesbians. Due to this two-year-old post, everything blew up and Gunn’s involvement with Marvel’s next on-screen property was immediately pulled into question. An online petition popped up asking Marvel Studios “to cut ties with Gunn and to find a new director who has respect for women.” That poll garnered 5,037 signatures before closing.
I’m familiar with Gunn’s work, so reading about this blog post didn’t surprise me. He can be crude at times while being funny, but when it comes to such a touchy subject, it’s hard to stay on the safe side of the line when cracking jokes. A few days ago, Gunn issued a statement apologizing for the insulting comments he made on his blog:
A couple of years ago I wrote a blog that was meant to be satirical and funny. In rereading it over the past day I don’t think it’s funny. The attempted humor in the blog does not represent my actual feelings. However, I can see where statements were poorly worded and offensive to many. I’m sorry and regret making them at all. People who are familiar with me as evidenced by my Facebook page and other mediums know that I’m an outspoken proponent for the rights of the gay and lesbian community, women and anyone who feels disenfranchised, and it kills me that some other outsider like myself, despite his or her gender or sexuality, might feel hurt or attacked by something I said. We’re all in the same camp, and I want to do my best to make this world a better place for all of us. I’m learning all the time. I promise to be more careful with my words in the future. And I will do my best to be funnier as well. Much love to all.
After this apology was made, forums and message boards exploded with either those declaring that they believed him or others saying that he was full of crap (that’s the edited version of what they really said). I’m not saying that what Gunn originally said was right (it’s clearly not), but I truly believe his apology and that he was only trying to get some laughs.
I follow Gunn’s Instagram profile, so I took a moment to quickly write a comment to him in regard to him possibly losing GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. To my surprise, I actually received a response back a day later simply saying, “Don’t worry. I’m still on GotG. :)” Naysayers will say and do what they will, but I’m personally thrilled that he’s staying on the project. I’m sure he’s learnt his lesson now and I for one forgive him. I look forward to seeing in which maniacal way he cuts loose on these Marvel heroes. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is scheduled to release August 1st, 2014.