PEACEMAKER Director James Gunn Explains Approach To Telling Stories In The Marvel & DC Universes (Exclusive)

Peacemaker director James Gunn is one of the only filmmakers to have been part of the MCU and DCEU, and he explains how his approach to telling these stories differs...or, more accurately, how it doesn't!

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After turning the superhero genre on its head with Super, James Gunn later joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe to deliver one of Marvel Studios' best movies with Guardians of the Galaxy. Three years after that, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 came along and was similarly superb, but the filmmaker would then take a hiatus from the MCU to put a fresh spin on Task Force X in The Suicide Squad

Having written and directed the first season of Peacemaker, Gunn is currently hard at work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. However, he intends to return to the DC Extended Universe for the second season of that series (and more), so Gunn is well-versed in both of these comic book worlds.

Talking this past weekend to promote the UK debut of Peacemaker on Sky Max/NOW, the director spoke to us about his creative approach to telling stories for the two companies. In the clip below, you'll hear him explain that the reality these characters call home isn't as important as knowing the audience he's looking to address, comparing Peacemaker to specific creator-focused comic book runs. 

It's always fascinating to hear from Gunn, especially when it's apparent he just gets these comic book heroes and villains. You can listen to the rest of our conversation with the director right here.

Peacemaker is available from 22 March on Sky Max and streaming service NOW with an Entertainment Membership.

You’ve jumped from Marvel to DC and now back to Marvel again for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but what would you say is the biggest difference between telling the stories of these comic book characters in these worlds that are similar in some ways, but obviously vastly different in others?

For me, I think of Guardians as primarily a James Gunn movie and I think of The Suicide Squad primarily as a James Gunn movie. The comics I’ve really enjoyed were the comics that were very author and artist-driven. I just think I am in that same tradition. I don’t look at Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns (which today celebrates its 36th anniversary) or Alan Moore’s Swamp-Thing and think they’re DC properties. I don’t think Frank Miller’s Daredevil was Marvel’s.

It really is first and foremost those guys, and one of the great things about these gigantic worlds is really getting the individual author’s perspective on things. I’ve been pretty fortunate in that my stories haven’t been too connected to anything. The first thing that really happened was Avengers: Endgame, of course, affected Guardians 3 to some degree which I knew was coming, but for the most part, there isn’t a big difference for me.

The bigger difference is that I’ve been making R-Rated fare for DC and PG-13 fare for Marvel. I don’t think that’s so much a function of Marvel or DC, it’s just who is the audience I’m talking to. When I’m creating Peacemaker and The Suicide Squad, I think I’m talking to teens and older. When I’m making Guardians, I know I’m talking to children in addition to families and older people and all of that. It’s simply who I’m speaking to that’s the main difference and nothing to do with the comic book companies that I find almost zero difference in terms of how they manage the stuff. 

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