The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most profitable film series of all time, and it seems like every time they make a movie that doesn’t have the word “Thor” somewhere in the title, it’s a critical home run. The team at DC, on the other hand, can’t understand why every time they light a match after dousing themselves in gasoline, they catch fire. All three films in the DCEU so far have mixed punishing solemnity and laughable silliness, and now we’re hearing inklings of (hopefully incorrect) news that the upcoming Wonder Woman is “another mess.”
So it only stands to reason that right about now you’re wondering if Marvel’s directors would be tempted to jump ship and start making films for DC. Turns out, not so much. James Gunn—the writer/director behind Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy series—revealed during a Facebook Q&A session on Sunday he has already turned down at least one offer from the other team. “I’ve had opportunities to make DC films, but I haven’t said yes to anything, and not sure I would at this time,” Gunn wrote. “I’ve talked before about which projects appeal to me the most if I was into making one, and it’s always Shazam and Metal Men and Swamp Thing and [Jonah] Hex and a few other DC IPs I’ve enjoyed for a great deal of my life.”
The 46-year-old filmmaker clearly has the decorum to not state which debacle he had a chance to preside over, so it falls to us to hypothesize with reckless abandon. Let’s see: It clearly wasn’t either Superman movie or the upcoming Justice League, as DC and Warner Bros. seem really dedicated to the idea of letting Zack Snyder asphyxiate those franchises. It’s not unthinkable that Gunn was offered the chance to helm a Batman spin-off, but you’d have to imagine they had their fingers crossed for Oscar winner Ben Affleck pulling double duty from the start. Suicide Squad seems very possible, mostly because both that and Guardians Of The Galaxy are quirky ensemble pieces full of anti-heroes, and studio executives are not famous for being able to see two inches beyond their noses.
However, the most exciting lost possibility is hinted at right in Gunn’s answer. No, not Swamp Thing. Yes, that would be potentially amazing, but there don’t seem to be any current plans for DC to make another live-action adaptation of that property. It’s Shazam. Word has just recently gotten out that the 2019 film (with Dwayne Johnson signed on as adversary Black Adam) is now part the DC Extended Universe, and it doesn’t seem to have a director attached yet. It’s also kind of a cosmic story, so it would be up Gunn’s alley.
Of course, there are a bunch of other possibilities, but for expediency’s sake, we should probably just assume that it was Shazam. If nothing else, it’ll make it easier for us to be angry at it when it turns out to not be very good.