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James Gunn Speaks Out On Hollywood Scrambling To Copy ‘Deadpool’ Success
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James Gunn Talks Hollywood Copying Deadpool Success

The success of Deadpool comes with a few curses apparently.

As we have seen in YA adaptations and superhero shared universes, success comes with this preconceived notion that it can be replicated across the board. So with Deadpool exceeding box office expectations over the weekend, it is very likely that studios would want to jump on board and try to repeat that success. That sort of mindset does come with its risks, as it isn’t as easy as one would think to make a movie about foul-mouthed mercenary in red spandex who finds joy in killing people willy nilly.

And that has some people like Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn worried. Now he is taking aim at a few Hollywood execs for not being able to understand why Deadpool was so well-received and performed beyond anyone’s expectations. More on the story below.

Gunn’s expletive-filled Facebook status was a reaction to Hollywood exec’s thoughts on Deadpool‘s box office performance which was posted on Deadline. Here is that quote:

“The film has a self-deprecating tone that’s riotous. It’s never been done before. It’s poking fun at Marvel. That label takes itself so seriously, can you imagine them making fun of themselves in a movie? They’d rather stab themselves.

You can kind of see where Gunn got the need to say something. According to him, “This quote has to have been said by the dumbest fucking Hollywood exec in the history of dumb fucking Hollywood execs.” He even takes his own bias by taking out Guardians of the Galaxy out of the question, and asks “what do you think Favreau and Downey did in Iron Man? What the fuck was Ant-Man??!” Yeah, the films he mentioned are from the very people he works for, but still Iron Man set the standard for shared universes, while Ant-Man exceeded its own expectations after going through its own set of production problems.

Obviously, the quote struck a nerve. But with an attitude like the one the exec was talking about, it would be a cause for concern, not to mention anger a few filmmakers. And he makes a few more points that clearly target the exec who made those statements.

“After every movie, smashes records people here in Hollywood love to throw out the definitive reasons why the movie was a hit. I saw it happen with Guardians. It ‘wasn’t afraid to be fun’ or it ‘was colorful and funny’ etc etc etc. And next thing I know I hear of a hundred film projects being set up ‘like Guardians,’ and I start seeing dozens of trailers exactly like the Guardians trailer with a big pop song and a bunch of quips. Ugh.”

That goes without saying. We’ve seen that so many times we’ve lost count actually. Without naming any films specifically, we can make a few guesses as to which of the films he is talking about. But it is the idea that just because it was a hit for one film, that it can be cookie cut for others. It just doesn’t work that way. As aforementioned, films like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, even Marvel Studios’ MCU, has been copied or had its success attempted to be replicated to no avail. Just look at what Sony lost when they tried to establish a Spider-Man shared universe. And Warner Bros. has yet to prove itself with its DCU. And that’s where Gunn gets to later on in his statement:

“So, over the next few months, if you pay attention to the trades, you’ll see Hollywood misunderstanding the lesson they should be learning with Deadpool. They’ll be green lighting films ‘like Deadpool’ – but, by that, they won’t mean ‘good and original’ but ‘a raunchy superhero film’ or ‘it breaks the fourth wall.’ They’ll treat you like you’re stupid, which is the one thing Deadpool didn’t do.”

Gunn definitely hits the nail on the head with that. There is this thought supported by Steven Spielberg and Zack Snyder that the superhero bubble is bound to burst sooner or later. At least, we know where that thought is coming from. It is the preconceived notion that studio execs can keep churning out carbon copies (that lack anything resembling quality) by the numbers that will keep the idea that there is superhero fatigue alive.

This leads Gunn to explain why Deadpool was so successful:

“Deadpool was its own thing. THAT’S what people are reacting to. It’s original, it’s damn good, it was made with love by the filmmakers, and it wasn’t afraid to take risks.”

Guardians of the Galaxy was a risk in its own way, and shouldn’t be compared to Deadpool. And vice versa. The reason why these films work is because the writers and directors truly believe in the project, and as Gunn put it “was made with love.”

[Source: Facebook | Deadline]


  1. Is that what you took from the Ant-Man comment? Ant-Man totally made fun of itself and the MCU.

    Comment by Jason Carpio — February 16, 2016 @ 1:34 pm

  2. “Without naming any films specifically, we can make a few guesses as to which of the films he is talking about.”

    What’s the point of NOT naming the films specifically? Are you afraid you’re going to hurt someone’s feelings?

    Comment by slone13 — February 16, 2016 @ 1:53 pm

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