James Gunn says DC-Marvel 'rivalry' is overblown: 'People have this weird belief that they hate each other'

As Gunn prepares to decamp from MCU to DC, he and his "Guardians" star plot next move: Catwoman or Batman?

James Gunn and Chris Pratt (Getty Images)
James Gunn and Chris Pratt (Photo: Getty Images)

James Gunn has been straddling the fence between Hollywood’s two superhero superpowers, Marvel and DC, for years — ever since he was hired to write (and eventually direct) DC’s The Suicide Squad shortly before being rehired to write and direct Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

But surely that fence-straddling has been particularly odd for Gunn in recent months — he was named co-chair of DC Films (along with Peter Safran) in October, just as he was finishing Guardians 3 and about to set out on a globetrotting Marvel press tour, right?

"It's not odd. It isn't odd at all, not to me," Gunn insists in our new interview, where he was joined by Guardians star Chris Pratt. "I understand how it appears, but I'm just busy cause I'm working two jobs at one time. But it's not odd."

Gunn says the perceived rivalry between the two superhero-spawning studios, Marvel owned by Disney and DC by Warner Bros., is overblown.

"People have this weird belief that Marvel and DC hate each other or somehow are polar opposites. But it's just not the truth. I mean, listen, man, our job is the same. We want to get people into the theaters to see movies. That's what matters. And I think that we work together to do that. And the more good Marvel movies are, the better it is for DC movies. The more good DC movies, the better it is for Marvel movies."

To put it in a sports analogy, Gunn promoting a Marvel movie while co-running DC is not like he's batting for the Red Sox while managing the Yankees.

"There's not only one winner," he says. "There can be two winners because it matters who goes to see your movies and who enjoys 'em."

Does that mean Pratt — the ubiquitous star of Guardians, Jurassic World and Super Mario Bros. — be begging to join DC as well?

"Catwoman is not going to happen as much as he bugs me about it," Gunn cracks.

"It's gonna happen," Pratt responds. "I have a leather mask."

What about Batman?

"Yep… That's just what America wants, and the rest of the world, is for me to play Batman. It's fine. It's time to finally bring an actor with some gravity to it," Pratt says self-effacingly.

"You'd be a good Batman," Gunn tells him, "that's not a bad thing."

You heard it here first, folks. Now, wait until you hear Pratt's Batman voice. (Watch the interview above.)

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 opens May 5.

Watch the trailer: