After taking over DC Studios, James Gunn has a plan in place to combat superhero weariness.
Superhero weariness has been a popular topic of discourse among fans in recent years, particularly when Marvel and DC’s pace slowed a bit this year.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has already addressed how superhero weariness may impact the MCU, stating that the firm has “80 years of the most exciting, emotive, and ground-breaking storylines from the Marvel comics” to adapt.
Sam Raimi, director of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, stated that he had “superhero overload” after filming the first Spider-Man trilogy, but witnessing Iron Man and The Avengers inspired him to return to the superhero genre.
James Gunn Shares His Strategy to Combat Superhero Fatigue
James Gunn, head of DC Studios, spoke with Rolling Stone about superhero weariness and how he intends to cure or possibly eliminate it from the DCU.
Despite acknowledging that he believes such tiredness exists, Gunn argued it had nothing to do with superheroes. Instead, the director of Guardians of the Galaxy stated that it all comes down to the “kind of tales that are told” and the protagonist.
“I think there is such a thing as superhero fatigue. I think it doesn’t have anything to do with superheroes. It has to do with the kind of stories that get to be told, and if you lose your eye on the ball, which is character.”
Afterwards, Gunn mused on how fantastic Superman, Batman, and Iron Man are, but how it would become “very dull” if it “becomes just a bunch of gibberish on screen:”
“We love Superman. We love Batman. We love Iron Man. Because they’re these incredible characters that we have in our hearts. And if it becomes just a bunch of nonsense onscreen, it gets really boring.”
Instead of solely depending on enormous spectacles to prevent superhero weariness, Gunn’s DCU would concentrate on emotionally realistic storylines that elevate the characters, he hinted.
“But I get fatigued by most spectacle films, by the grind of not having an emotionally grounded story. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether they’re superhero movies or not. If you don’t have a story at the base of it, just watching things bash each other, no matter how clever those bashing moments are, no matter how clever the designs and the VFX are, it just gets fatiguing, and I think that’s very, very real.”
Will James Gunn’s DCU Contribute to the Development of the Superhero Genre?
James Gunn’s awareness of superhero weariness bodes well for the DC Universe, given that he is the franchise’s captain.
This might be a hint that the storylines featured in the remake would likely be more character-driven and less reliant on enormous action sequences as its selling point.
Given that Gunn will both write and direct Superman: Legacy, there is a significant possibility that the recounting of Clark Kent’s narrative on the big screen will be radically different from previous versions.
In fact, the creative director has already hinted that the tone of Superman: Legacy will be distinct from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
This would distinguish the Superman relaunch and set the tone for the ambitious first chapter of the DCU.
Gunn’s dedication to presenting more deep superhero stories will hopefully raise not only the DCU, but the whole genre.
On May 5, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will debut in cinemas. The release date for Superman: Legacy is July 11, 2025.