Petition to remove James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy? A different view.

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James Gunn 

(Note i tried to get this up yesterday i offered to bleedingcool.com first but they didn’t use it so here it is.)

A petition has been created on change.org to remove director James Gunn from Marvel Studios upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie. http://www.change.org/petitions/marvel-studios-remove-james-gunn-from-guardians-of-the-galaxy-movie

It cites an old blog post of Gunn’s from February 17, 2011 which contained a “Super Heroes you most want to have sex with” poll. Which was removed and later found cached online. I’m not going to post excerpts here because there are enough other sites doing it. Here is a link though http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.jamesgunn.com/2011/02/17/the-50-superheroes-you-most-want-to-have-sex-with-2nd-annual-poll-results/

There is no question that James Gunn is controversial he has tackled his share of weird projects over the years. From working with Troma Studios to writing the live action Scooby Doo movies not to mention his PG Porn webs series. I’ll admit after reading his reactions to the characters in the poll a lot of it comes off as juvenile to say the least. I’m not going to defend it or even justify it. It’s his right to say or in this case post whatever he wants. However just because he did write something that’s arguably very stupid even if it’s in jest shouldn’t detract him from a position he was given based on his skill as a writer and director.

I will probably take fire for standing up for James Gunn and I am fine with that. I have a strong feeling however that many of the people signing this petition have never seen any of his work. When this is the case it’s easy to incite a group against an individual. What I want to do is point out a few of the great projects that James Gunn has made.

First “Super” this 2010 film starred Rain Wilson of the office. Along with Liv Tyler, Ellen Page, Michael Rooker, Kevin Bacon and even a cameo by Nathan Fillion. A take on the real life super-hero genre a man with nothing to lose takes up the mantle of the Crimson Bolt to face off against a local drug boss and rescue his ex wife. The film is seeded with despair, indifference and tragedy. There are outlandish moments and some that are just plain bizarre but the story is a very human one. It’s about finding hope when you’re hopeless and overcoming depression and loss.

Slither from 2006 was a sort of zombie comedy with minute sci-fi touches. Starring Nathan Fillion of Firefly/Serenity and Castle. It also featured Elizabeth Banks, Michael Rooker, Greg Henry and Tania Saulnier. A story of alien slug like creatures with a hive mind that infect a small town. Michael Rooker steals the show as Grant the first to be in infected by the alien parasite who somehow forces his own will and consciousness on to the alien invader. While Nathan Fillion is definitely the hero of the film you can’t help but feel for Rooker a man who is becoming a monster constantly struggling to retain some small amount of humanity even though he ultimately fails at doing so.

Gunn wrote the screen play for Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake which still ignites zombie fans in arguments over fast versus slow zombies. I’m even going to throw in both the live action Scooby Doo movies which he penned. They were hokey and goofy but he managed to nail the characters and bring us as close to the original source material as we could possibly get, Scrappy Doo aside of course.

These are just a few examples of James Gunn’s work. He has come a long way since starting out at Troma… a long way. It’s obvious he can handle many different kinds of material and do it in a way that always feels fresh. I believe he can do the same for Guardians of the Galaxy. Even if he probably got the job in large part due to Joss Whedon’s influence with Marvel Studios.

What he posted on his site may have been offensive and even misogynistic but that doesn’t warrant his removal from the film. Everyone makes mistakes he obviously removed the post himself at some point maybe he saw his own error(He later released an apology online). Losing him as the director of the Guardians movie would be a huge misstep there is no doubt in my mind he will take the property to places we would never have expected.