“Have They Never Seen ‘Super’?”

Atul and Justin were ready to record what was supposed to be Episode 23 on Friday. They tried to look for SDCC news and were immediately greeted by the grim news that Writer/Director James Gunn was fired. Gunn was slated to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3.

Before his films with Marvel/Disney, Gunn was involved with a variety of film genres. Most notable, and recent, before his Marvel works, was a film called Super. Super was released on 2010 and was a dark comedy starring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page. Super features scenes of gratuitous violence, rape, and somehow attempts to inject comedy into the mix. Does it work? Sometimes. But this was his film, and he made it what it was. On his terms.

Then in 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy was released, and James Gunn became another cog in the Marvel machine. However, it was actually the House-of-Mouse machine at that point. Disney bought Marvel studios in August of 2009, and green lit the obscure Guardians film with an interesting directorial choice in Gunn, considering his previous works.

“The Internet Never Forgets”

Atul makes an excellent point in that information on the internet can be on there forever. In this case, Disney released Gunn as a result of tweets written almost ten years ago according to their press release. In 2012, he had made a public apology for tweets similar to those that are being sited today as the tweets that broke the relationship. Read without context, the tweets can be pretty rough. However, the source of the tweets being Gunn who has a particular sense of humor that not everyone may share should come as no surprise.

Between 2006 and 2010 Gunn was a very different type of writer/director catering to different audiences, and was not at the forefront as he was with Disney/Marvel. He was working on projects such as Slither, James Gunn’s PG Porn, Super and a few web shorts. Hardly material that intersects with Disney’s typical demographic. However, given his past work and social media presence Disney STILL hired the man to make a movie about a relatively unknown band of heroes. Guardians of the Galaxy turned out to be one of their strongest franchises to date.

Unearthing historical tweets that “are indefensible and inconsistent with [Disney]’s values” and firing him seems off. Perhaps there is more than meets the eye to this story. Only time will tell. However, given what we know at this time, this seems like an unfair knee jerk reaction by Disney. Clearly, their HR team needs to do more homework in the future when they hire new directors.

So The Tweets Are OK?

Yes. No. Maybe?

Do you think they’re OK? That’s the real question.

The thing about comedy is it’s in the audience’s perception. If you’re telling jokes about Christianity in a church to a group of nuns, you are probably going to run into a tough room. As Atul says in the podcast “you need to know your audience.” Dark comedy is a tough sell on twitter without context of who the audience is, or how the joke should be told. We understand how a joke can get you into trouble.

However, what is to be gained by digging up old tweets that were comedic in nature and painting an evil picture? Is he actually that evil? Has he demonstrated those qualities lately? I think the reason many are having an issue dealing with this is that no answers to those questions have been provided. Disney may not owe the public more information than what they’ve provided, but it sure would help most accept it.

In Brightest Day…

The film Green Lantern Corps is set to release in July of 2020. It is assumed it will reboot the franchise established in 2011 with Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by Martin Campbell. The film was a failure both critically and at the box office and reviled by most fans of the comic book franchise. The only information released about the Green Lantern Corps film is that it will be like Lethal Weapon in space, and revolves around Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart.

In Blackest Night…

As Green Lantern fans, Atul and Justin, along with many disgruntled fanboys, felt that the 2011 film missed the mark. The film lacks focus on the Corps as an organization which is a part of what makes the book special. It is an extremely watered down version of what it could have been and is ultimately generic and forgettable. The CG costume, though an interesting concept, is distracting and did not work well on screen most of the time.

The film has its failures, but it ultimately managed to bring the Green Lantern to the silver screen, and that is a win. Franchises like Guardians of the Galaxy have proven to be extremely popular films. Space epics led by a strong ensemble cast with original characters can work.

No Evil Shall Escape My Sight…

This episode is ultimately Justin’s pitch for what he would like to see in a Green Lantern Corps film. The the film will exist within the DC Extended Universe but can and should stand on its own merit. The goal of the film should not be one man vs. evil. The film should portray the Corps as a strong band of brothers and sisters (and “whatevers”). It should show wondrous and imaginative worlds, environments, and creatures across the universe. The Green Lantern Corps could not only be the Guardians of the Galaxy of the DCEU, but the Star Wars.

Let Those Who Worship Evil’s Might…

The only thing that the Harbingers would take from Green Lantern (2011) would be Mark Strong’s Sinestro. The casting was spot on and Strong was a near perfect Sinestro. His look, voice, and holier-than-thou attitude nailed the character and he would be a welcome addition back to the DCEU and Green Lantern Corps. Unfortunately, he is currently playing the villain Doctor Sivana in the upcoming Shazam film, so it is doubtful he would reprise his role, but we can always dream.

Beware My Power…Green Lantern’s Light!

Our hopes is that this pitch gets our listeners excited about the film and characters. And who knows, maybe if some big wig at the WB is listening to this, we might be able to get this film, or one like it, made!

Let us know if you dig our take on the film, or what you would like to see in the upcoming film.