James Gunn Passed on Superman Movie in Favor of Suicide Squad

During a recent conversation with fans on Instagram, Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker James Gunn reiterated that he was once offered a Superman movie -- at least kind of -- and that he had elected instead to focus on The Suicide Squad, his 2021 DC movie. As early as last February, rumors circulated that Gunn had been offered a shot at the Man of Steel, and the filmmaker has been open about the fact that when he was invited to Warner Bros. the offer was not to make The Suicide Squad, but to pitch the movie he would want to make with a DC property following his (temporary) firing from Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3.

Gunn has remained consistent on this point: he was offered a buffet to choose from, and what he wanted to sit down with was The Suicide Squad, which he has repeatedly said is one of his favorite properties in mainstream comics. The filmmaker has also said that Warner Bros. was not especially concerned with Brightburn, the "evil Superman" movie that he executive produced last year.

"As has been reported many times, DC offered me whatever film I wanted to do, including some sort of Superman movie (not specifically Man of Steel 2 as I've seen reported)," Gunn explained to a fan. "I chose The Suicide Squad because it's one of my favorite properties in the world. It's the story I wanted to tell more than any other."

Some fans are predictably taking his caveat that it was not "specifically" a sequel to Man of Steel as a sign that Warner Bros. is not interested in pursuing another Henry Cavill Superman movie. While that may be true (there have been other rumors to that effect for months), it seems like quite a leap to interpret Gunn's comments that way. The more reasonable interpretation is likely that he was invited to pitch for Superman and the door was left fairly wide open as to what that pitch would be. It appears as though that is what happened with The Suicide Squad (and even then, he kept members of the cast from the David Ayer Suicide Squad film).


Upcoming DC movies include Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, Black Adam on December 22, 2021, Shazam! 2 on April 1, 2022, The Flash on July 1, 2022, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.