James Gunn Would Love a Marvel-DC Crossover, But Could It Happen?

in DC, Marvel

Starlord (Chris Pratt) in "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014)

Credit: Marvel

Comic book fans have long awaited for Marvel and DC to officially cross over on the big screen, especially with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe soaring to new heights in recent years. Albeit a pipe dream, James Gunn has recently pushed this idea one step closer.

Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) right and Clark Kent/Superman (Henry Cavill) left in Zack Snyder's "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" (2016)
Credit: Warner Brothers

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, being the Twitter user he is, recently shared that he’s approached the heads of both Marvel and DC about a possible crossover.

Gunn wrote:

I’ve casually talked to the powers-that-be at both Marvel & DC about it. I would love for it to happen. I don’t think it’s likely, but I don’t think it’s an impossibility either. THAT SAID, just constantly seeing crossovers & mashups is less enchanting to me than a strong story.

Related: James Gunn Wanted ‘Guardians’ Spinoff, Marvel Wasn’t Interested

James Gunn, revealing that he’s discussed the possibilities of a Marvel-DC crossover with the “powers-that-be,” also shared his distaste for fan service.

Gunn is undoubtedly the most vocal Hollywood director on social media and isn’t shy about important creative directions and issues in his films when fans ask him. That being said, he isn’t afraid to share sometimes top-secret information that fans wonder if it’s true.

Gunn later continued:

I find it disconcerting at times that many folks seem more interested in crossovers, cameos, references & post-credit scenes than they do the actual story & characters of a specific film! When making a film I spend 99.9% of my time thinking about story & character & .1% the rest.

Related: ‘Guardians’ Star Praises Disney For Rehiring James Gunn, “I’m Proud”

Gunn, undoubtedly, would be the choice director for an Iron Man meets Batman movie, as he’s directed two Marvel Movies and The Suicide Squad, Gunn’s first DC film.

In the past, he’s stated that both Marvel and Disney are completely fine with him jumping over to DC and back to Marvel. The same goes for actors like Idris Elba (Thor (2011) and The Suicide Squad (2021)), Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and Venom (2018)), and most recently Christian Bale (The Dark Knight (2008) and Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)).

Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher) far left, Barry White/Flash (Ezra Miller) left, Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) middle left, Clark Kent/Superman (Henry Cavill) middle right, Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) right, and Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Mamoa) far right in "Zack Snyder's Justice League" (2021)
Credit: Warner Brothers

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) has boosted DC’s popularity exponentially in recent months, with Disney+ series like WandaVision and Loki regaining Marvel’s popularity after Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Both IPs (intellectual properties) are extremely relevant and crucial in modern pop culture, and a crossover between the two would be a nerd’s dream come true.

Could Marvel and DC Cross Over?

The Walt Disney Company is a powerhouse of well-known intellectual properties and home to some of the most enduring stories in history. The acquisition of Marvel Studios led to Jon Favreau’s (creator of The Mandalorian) Iron Man (2008) that spawned the present-day super hero movie genre as we know it.

Many argue that Marvel is to thank for putting our favorite heroes, like Black Panther, Captain America, and Captain Marvel, on the big screen in a profitable market.

After all, with no Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) meant no Avengers: Endgame (2019) or even Avengers Campus at the Disneyland Resort.

However, many argue that DC has much of an effect on present-day audiences and super hero movies as Marvel does.

Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) far left, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) left, Captain America (Chris Evans) middle, Ayo (Florence Kasumba) right, Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) right, and T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) far left in Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Credit: Marvel

Related: Scarlett Johansson Slams Portrayal of Black Widow in ‘Iron Man 2’

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire shattered preconceived notions about comic book characters getting their own blockbuster-budgeted movies in the early 2000s, but Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy reshaped the moviegoing experience as we know it.

For the first time, Bruce Wayne/Batman was placed in a realistic, all-business surrounding that felt…real. Rather than being juxtaposed to tacky backgrounds, over-the-top makeup, and lackluster dialogue, fans were given the raw power of the Caped Crusader.

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman in "The Dark Knight" (2008)
Credit: Warner Brothers

Related: Could Zack Snyder Direct a Hulk Movie?

Many fans — Marvel and DC alike — cite The Dark Knight (2008) as the greatest “superhero” movie of all time. Over a decade later and film critics point back to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008) as the movie of all movies — even outside of this comic book genre at times.

Funny enough, both Iron Man and The Dark Knight came out in 2008. One gravitated towards families and viewers of all ages, while the other led a more mysterious and mature tone that revolutionized filmmaking to its core. Both, however, had a lasting impact that’s still felt today.

Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) in "Iron Man" (2008)
Credit: Marvel

Related: Marvel Revives a Controversial ‘Iron Man’ Character

Marvel and DC are like, well, Marvel and DC. There are really no other comparisons to two huge franchises that tell episodic stories that reach the same audience but divide taste in such a drastic way.

Imagining Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) sharing the big screen is like picturing Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse sharing the stage. In fact, they did this in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), so nothing’s impossible.

Zachary Levi in "Shazam!" (2019)
Credit: Warner Brothers

Marvel and DC have shared the comic book page in the past, but the last occurrence was nearly 20 years ago in JLA/Avengers.

But, like James Gunn pointed out, the story is more important than a big-budget crossover. Considering modern legal issues and stipulations concerning comic book characters and their owners, splitting costs and revenue would be a nightmare and most likely end up in many court visits. This crossover would most likely end up as one movie that doesn’t advance any stories.

Nonetheless, here’s to dreaming that one day Marvel and DC share a title sequence and tell a new tale of good overcoming evil.

Do you think Marvel and DC could share a movie? Let us know in the comments below!

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