James Gunn Doesn't Think Howard the Duck Is a Good Movie

Howard the Duck may have made a surprising and fun appearance in James Gunn's 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy, but that doesn't mean the filmmaker is a fan of the character's live-action movie, 1986's Howard the Duck. During an Instagram Q&A session on Saturday, Gunn was asked his thoughts on the film and Gunn was pretty clear: Howard the Duck is not a good movie, but he still has love for the character's cameos in other films, especially his own.

"It's not a good movie," Gunn wrote. "Obviously I love his cameos as I'm responsible for most of them."

james gunn instagram howard the duck
(Photo: James Gunn/Instagram)

Debuting in theaters in 1986, Howard the Duck was a significant failure, both critically and commercially. The film only earned back roughly half of its budget and was widely panned by critic. To date, the film has a 15 percent Tomatometer and a 38 percent Audience Score with the general consensus about the film being that it suffers from lackluster performances as well as an uneven tone. While the movie itself wasn't exactly a winner, the character remains a bit of a niche favorite for many -- including Gunn who explained back in 2017 that while the movie isn't great, he is a big fan of the character.

"I'm a huge Howard the Duck fan," Gunn said at the time. "For people who don't know, I'm a huge Marvel Comics fan, but Howard the Duck was maybe my favorite character as a kid. I went back and I collected all of those comics. I had every comic he was ever in."

It's that passion for the character that ultimately led to the character's cameos in both Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but not everyone shares Gunn's opinion about that Howard the Duck movie. Despite being a bit of a failure, the film has gone on to have a bit of a cult following, a cult following that won't just let it fade into obscurity.


"I think they would stay as far away from me as possible," Howard the Duck star Lea Thompson said in 2015 when asked if she would return in a reboot or a sequel. "They would probably want to reinvent the franchise. I think they wish that movie would go away so that they could do it again without all the hoopla about Howard the Duck. But so many people love that movie, I'm not embarrassed about it."

What do you think? Did you think Howard the Duck was terrible or are you a fan? Let us know in the comments below.