Marc Guggenheim Disappointed With James Gunn’s Decisions

The new direction that James Gunn is going with the DC Universe has some repercussions for the people involved in the current Arrowverse which is playing on The CW. Marc Guggenheim looked back at some of DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn’s decisions regarding the development of the new DC Universe (DCU).

Gunn and his partner, Peter Safran, are working on and developing a new approach to the movies and TV shows for the DC Universe, having just announced the Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters slate at the end of January. To help build this version from the ground up, Gunn is putting together an impressive group of writers that will help him move the story forward, which already contains talent such as Jeremy Slater from the MCU’s Moon Knight.

With all the excitement of the new direction in the DC portfolio of entertainment, these big changes are inevitably leading to some names from past DC projects being left behind. From his personal online newsletter, Arrowverse creator Marc Guggenheim commented on the direction that the new DC Universe is taking under DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn, specifically touching on the franchise’s new writer’s room. He was disappointed that Gunn made the decision not to consult with him about the changes, or inform him about the direction they are going:

Why am I saying this now?

Well, this week, James Gunn announced that he assembled a ‘writers’ room’ to help chart out what the new ‘DC Universe’ under his and James Safran’s leadership is going to be.

Suffice it to say, I am not among that group.

I’m not particularly surprised. In fact, I assumed that they would assemble some kind of brain trust to help facilitate what I assumed — hoped — would be a vision as ambitious as the DC Universe deserves.”

Not only was he not included in this writer’s room, but he didn’t even get a meeting after spending “nine years toiling in that vineyard” as he developed the Arrowverse for The CW. But Guggenheim also admitted that there was “a lot of adversity, challenges, and personal sacrifices” that went into developing this DC world, although none of them benefitted him professionally the series ended:

But I’ll be honest: I would have liked to have gotten at least a meeting.

Not a job, mind you. A meeting. A conversation. A small recognition of what I’d tried to contribute to the grand tapestry that is the DC Universe. I’d only spent nine years toiling in that vineyard, after all. (Not including many more years co-writing the ‘Green Lantern movie, a Green Lantern streaming series, and comic books like ‘The Flash’, ‘Batman Confidential’, ‘Adventures of Superman, and ‘Justice Society of America’.)

He followed up to say that he actually felt that he wasted his time working on that universe for so long, sacrificing much of his energy only for him to not have “accrued to any professional benefit” from his efforts:

And then there was some other stuff which basically boiled down to me lamenting that although working for DC had been creatively fulfilling, it involved a lot of adversity, challenges, and personal sacrifices — none of which seem to have accrued to any professional benefit. Simply put, the Arrowverse hasn’t led to any other gigs, so it feels — at least on a career level — that I really wasted my time.”

Gunn already brought a few huge names in to help him build the new DCU, including Logan’s James Mangold taking the reins on the Chapter 1 movie Swamp Thing. But it’s obvious that Guggenheim felt slighted by not even being asked to take a meeting with Gunn after having worked with Green Arrow, the Flash, Supergirl, and countless other heroes in his own universe on The CW.

Like the Joker said played by Jack Nicholson in the 1989 Batman movie “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs”. There had to be some people that are disappointed. This still does not explain why Gunn did not contact him directly, but big changes are still coming and are needed to improve the DCU.

Chapter 1 of the DCU will begin in 2025 with Creature Commandos on HBO Max and Superman: Legacy in theaters.

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