James Gunn's role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was overblown online, according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. After Gunn gave Guardians of the Galaxy his unique style and turned the obscure property into a global hit, he quickly appeared to become even more involved with the MCU. He was brought back for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 right away, and later began producing Avengers: Infinity War and planning for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
As the Guardians of the Galaxy characters continued to look like the future of the MCU, so too did Gunn. He made it clear that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would be a major key to the future of the universe, as it would set up 10-20 years of films. His position with Marvel Studios even appeared to be growing beyond the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, with Gunn stating in 2017 that he was "shepherding the future of the Marvel cosmic universe," which was taken as an indication that he would be somewhat involved in all cosmic MCU films. This is what made the firing of him from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and eliminating his future with the MCU all the more surprising, but he may not have been as involved as believed.
In an interview with CinemaBlend, Feige was asked about Gunn's role in the MCU and if his influence will still be felt even though he is gone. He used this as an opportunity to confirm that Gunn's script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be used, but also to clarify what his role with the franchise actually consisted of - and it sounds like everyone got a bit too carried away with it online.
"His influence was Guardians. It was Guardians. It was his input on Guardians and the Avengers films, as you've seen in Infinity War, and on the Guardians 3 script, which we’re still using. So you'll see that influence. I think online, sort of the notion of ‘architect across multiple cosmic things’ was slightly blown out of proportion."
Gunn said before that he and Feige talked all the time about different cosmic-based movies, but this does not mean that Gunn would be directly involved with them in any way. After all, Captain Marvel largely deals with the cosmos, and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck only mentioned that they briefly spoke to Gunn about the script and that was all. Even though Gunn's former role with the MCU wasn't as large as many thought, it is easy to see why it happened based on Gunn's previous comments and the growing importance of the cosmic side of the MCU.
Gunn may have been far from being the head of Marvel Cosmic or anything close to such a title, but he would still have a large role to play in shaping it if he was still around. Thankfully, all of his ideas and teases (like Quasar's introduction) that were built into his Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 script will remain intact. Now, we just have to hope that the movie actually happens sometime soon after a new director is found. And, even without Gunn's mind, the future of the MCU on Earth, in space, and anywhere else will still be in great hands with Feige.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019