James Gunn says superhero movies have become “really lazy”

James Gunn has called out “really lazy” superhero movies which have become “too generic”.

The filmmaker, who was appointed co-CEO of DC Studios with Peter Safran last year, discussed the current superhero movie landscape and his plans for the DC Universe during an appearance on the Inside Of You podcast.

Speaking to host Michael Rosenbaum, Gunn agreed there are “too many” superhero films and TV shows, adding that the next iteration of DC would not “overextend” itself.

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“We’re not going to overextend ourselves with DC,” Gunn said. “We’re going to be very careful with the product we put out and make sure everything is as good as it can possibly be.”

The director, who is best known for Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy trilogy, however believes the biggest problem isn’t quantity but the quality of superhero stories.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3
‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 3’. Credit: Marvel Entertainment YouTube

“What’s happened is people have gotten really lazy with their superhero stories,” Gunn added. “And they have gotten to the place where, ‘Oh, it’s a superhero, let’s make a movie about it.’ And then, ‘Oh, let’s make a sequel, because the first one did pretty well,’ and they aren’t thinking about, ‘Why is this story special? What makes this story stand apart from other stories? What is the story at the heart of it all? Why is this character important? What makes this story different that it fills a need for people in theatres to go see?’

“People have gotten a little lazy. There’s a lot of biff, pow, bam stuff happening in movies and I’m watching third acts of superhero films where I really just don’t feel like there’s a rhyme or reason to what’s happening. I don’t care about the characters. And they’ve gotten too generic. There’s a middle-of-the-road genre or tone that so many superhero movies have, as opposed to having very different genres.”

Gunn and Safran’s relaunch of the DC Universe will begin with Superman: Legacy, written and directed by the former. The film, set to be released in July 2025, will follow a younger version of the character following Henry Cavill’s stint.

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Other DCU projects announced include a Swamp Thing movie, Supergirl: World of Tomorrow and a TV series titled Lanterns. Sequels to both The Batman and The Joker will exist under the DC Elseworlds banner, separate to the main universe.