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SYFY WIRE James Gunn

James Gunn fires back at 'disrespectful' fans after his first DC Studios moves

James Gunn likes to talk with fans, but he thinks sometimes those fans go a little too far.

By Matthew Jackson
James Gunn

James Gunn has fired back at fans critical of his DC Studios moves so far in a lengthy Twitter thread, in which he both called the backlash "disrespectful" and vowed that no amount of vitriol would change his mind about the best way forward for the DC Universe.

It's been almost two months since Gunn and producing partner Peter Safran took over as heads of DC Studios, a newly formed division with the goal of unifying DC Comics storytelling across film, television, gaming and beyond. And while many of the filmmaker's moves at the studio have not been made public yet, behind-the-scenes reporting has made it clear that certain ideas are going to be divisive. Late Monday, Gunn addressed these decisions, as well as the fan response to them, by acknowledging first that he was always aware he was going to make certain people angry.

"One of the things Peter & I were aware of when we took the job as heads of DC Studios was a certain minority of people online that could be, well, uproarious & unkind, to say the least," Gunn wrote.

"Our choices for the DCU are based upon what we believe is best for the story & best for the DC characters who have been around for nearly 85 years. Perhaps these choices are great, perhaps not, but they are made with sincere hearts & integrity & always with the story in mind."

In the time since Gunn and Safran took over DC Studios, the director has spent a lot of time on social media fielding questions from fans, taking suggestions, and even addressing certain reporting about his decision-making head-on. Though there's been a lot of that reporting, very little has actually been confirmed by Gunn and Safran. One decision that has been confirmed, and which stirred up plenty of anger among a certain subset of fans, is Gunn's choice to step away from Henry Cavill's portrayal of Superman in favor of a new actor who will play a younger version of the Man of Steel. It's a decision that angered plenty of fans online, but while Gunn sounds like he was expecting that, he wasn't necessarily expecting things to hit another level. 

Gunn continued, "No one loves to be harassed or called names — but, to be frank, we’ve been through significantly worse. Disrespectful outcry will never, ever affect our actions.

"We were aware there would be a period of turbulence when we took this gig, & we knew we would sometimes have to make difficult & not-so-obvious choices, especially in the wake of the fractious nature of what came before us. But this means little to us in comparison to our jobs as artists & custodians in helping to create a wide & wonderful future for DC."

Gunn and Safran were brought in earlier this year by Warner Bros. Discovery head David Zaslav with the goal of creating a unified leadership strategy for the DC brand after years of somewhat scattered production both within the DCEU and outside that shared universe. From the beginning, Gunn has teased the formation of a massive, decade-long story that will hopefully do for DC what The Infinity Saga did for Marvel Studios, but of course, to pull that story off means letting certain pre-formed notions of DC movies go. Gunn knew that going in, and so did many fans, but not everyone is taking the growing pains well. 

It's important to remember that, for the moment, there's still very little we actually know for sure about Gunn and Safran's DC plans. There's so much left to lay out, including the future of other established characters and their stories, as well as who might steer the new stories in the years to come. There's a long road ahead, and while it sounds like Gunn is prepared to drive it, he's also prepared for the bumps.

In need of a superhero film to watch as you wait for what's to come from DC Studios? X-Men: First Class, Punisher, Green Lantern and more are available to stream now on Peacock.