Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A Shazam! producer thinks James Gunn could be the key to ending the DC/Marvel rivalry

Illustration for article titled A Shazam! producer thinks James Gunn could be the key to ending the DC/Marvel rivalry
Photo: Richard Harbaugh (Getty Images/Disneyland Resort)

It may seem silly to pit Marvel movies and DC movies against each other, since they’re all comic book movies and the audience for one tends to be the exact same audience for the other, but we live in a world where everyone has to pick sides on everything—whether it’s politics, video game consoles, or comic book movies. According to Aquaman and Shazam! producer Peter Safran, though, it doesn’t have to be that way. Apparently, he believes that we could someday live in a world of perfect comic book movie harmony, where nobody feels the need to viciously attack anyone on social media for saying something negative about, say, Zack Snyder’s awful Justice League or David Ayer’s awful Suicide Squad (in the interest of fairness, Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron was also not very good).


The justification for Safran’s optimism, naturally, comes from the one thing both Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment can agree on: James Gunn. He was hired by DC to direct a Suicide Squad reboot after right-wing trolls got him fired from Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, a move that made it clear just how much DC knew it needed someone to inject some actual personality into that bucket of mall-punk vomit. But then, on Friday, Disney re-hired Gunn to direct Guardians 3, with everyone just accepting that he would do a big DC movie and then a big Marvel movie back to back as if that wasn’t totally unheard of. Safran says that both he and Gunn think that level of cooperation should be the norm, telling JoBlo over the weekend that they both think it’s “absurd” to push “this Marvel/DC rivalry.”

“[Gunn] has always espoused the view that that which unites comic book and superhero lovers is much greater than that which divides us,” Safran told JoBlo, adding that “there’s room for everybody” and that the world will hopefully recognize that “you can be both a Marvel and a DC fan and the world won’t spin off its axis.” That’s some unbridled positivity, and it suggests that Safran either doesn’t have a Twitter account or he doesn’t check his replies very often, but it’s certainly a nice sentiment. Who knows, maybe if this whole unity thing takes off, we could get cinematic Amalgam Universe once both Marvel and DC both run out of gas. Then we can start arguing about who should play iconic heroes like Dark Claw, Super-Soldier, and Doctor Strangefate instead of fighting over which movie is better.