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Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman Defends James Gunn, Hates on Suicide Squad

Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman has once again come to the defense of long-time friend and collaborator, James Gunn, slamming Suicide Squad in the process. Gunn started out at Troma in the early days of his career, assisting with and featuring in some of their low-budget films. He eventually went on write and direct for the company, most notably penning one of their most popular and acclaimed hits: Tromeo and Juliet. Continuing with the B-movie trend, Gunn made his directorial debut with 2006's Slither, and wrote the script for Zack Snyder's 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake.

Gunn's biggest break came, however, when he was handed the keys to the cosmic corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Following the successful release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the writer/director found himself targeted regarding jokes he'd previously made on Twitter. Gunn was subsequently fired, prompting waves of support from cast and fans alike. Work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has since stalled - despite an online petition and even a billboard demanding Gunn's rehiring. Recent reports indicate that Gunn has instead jumped to DC, and will helm and completely refresh Suicide Squad 2, with speculation already rife as to which characters will feature and who from Guardians could play them.

Related: All The Damage Firing James Gunn Has Had For Marvel

Speaking exclusively with Screen Geek at LA Comic Con, Kaufman once again weighed in on the issue. Never one to mince his words, the 72-year-old director reiterated his support for Gunn, praising him heavily while criticizing the decision to target him in the first place. His disdain wasn't merely confined to the people who had gone after Gunn, however. Kaufman also had some choice words for 2016's Suicide Squad. It wasn't all doom and gloom, however, as Kaufman revealed he would very much be looking forward to Gunn weaving his magic on the sequel. Check out his full comments below:

"Well, I was the first one to make a video trying to support James Gunn. I was the first so-called—I mean I’m not a celebrity, I’m in the underground—but I was the first one. So obviously I feel very strong about it. James is the nicest, kindest and most talented person that you’ll probably meet. So, they picked the wrong guy to abuse. He’s like Shakespeare’s wife; beyond reproach. But meanwhile, it’s a yin and yang situation because he’s got another sh*tty franchise that he can resurrect and make into a billion-dollar industry. Suicide Squad was unwatchable the first time around. James will take that and—it’ll be like Rumpelstiltskin; he’ll be spinning straw into gold."

Whilst it could be argued that Guardians of the Galaxy was ever a "sh*tty" property, it's undeniable that it was far from part of Marvel's A-List roster. Even less known to the mainstream than Iron Man was prior to 2008, there was even doubt it would work on the big screen. On paper, the idea of centering a film on a group of intergalactic outcasts that feature a talking raccoon and a tree was met with intense skepticism. In Gunn's hands, however, the characters became household names and staples of the MCU.

Equally, many will no doubt agree with Kaufman's assessment of Suicide Squad. Though successful at the box office - and even the Academy Awards - the film was widely considered a mess.  Inconsistent in tone, with a less than paper-thin story and nonsensical arcs, Suicide Squad failed to match the hype generated by the trailers. Despite people such as Kaufman continuing to voice their support for the acclaimed director, Gunn will most likely never return to the Guardians franchise and see things come full circle as he intended, though his script will be used. The best fans could possibly hope for is, as Kaufman believes, that Gunn will be able to make lightning strike twice and help Suicide Squad equally live up to its potential.

More: Directors Who Should Helm Suicide Squad 2 if James Gunn Doesn't

Source: Screen Geek

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