James Gunn names his five favourite comic book films of all time
James Gunn has named his five favourite film adaptations of comic books.
The Guardians of the Galaxy director was appointed co-CEO of DC Studios alongside veteran executive Peter Safran in October last year.
Fans may be interested to know that Gunn has divulged his five favourite comic book adaptations, which may give people some idea of what to expect from the future of DC films, which includes the highly anticipated Gunn-directed Superman: Legacy in 2025.
Gunn was asked to list his top five comic book movies during an interview with GQ.
Predictably, the list included some superhero fare such as the “perfect” Deadpool (2016), Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman, and the recently released animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2023).
In addition to those titles, Gunn singled out Park Chan-wook’s cult classic Oldboy (2003) and David Cronenberg’s History of Violence (2005) as some of the best examples of comic books-turned-films.
The critically acclaimed Korean-language film Oldboy follows a man (Choi Min-sik) who seeks revenge after he is released from captivity after 18 years.
Gunn said that he initially did not realise that Oldboy was based on a Nineties Japanese manga written by Garon Tsuchiya.
Speaking about Oldboy’s influence on the genre, Gunn said: “It reinvented action and it really ushered in the new era of Korean cinema, which has continued to this day.
“They still probably make the best action movies in the world. But as a movie, it’s just incredibly cinematic, incredibly colourful, really kind of gross but also beautiful. And shocking at the end… it works on every level.”
Gunn also praised Cronenburg’s action-thriller, which was adapted from Josh Wagner and Vince Locke’s 1997 graphic novel.
“When I saw A History of Violence, I also, like Oldboy, didn’t know this was based on anything. I didn’t know it was based on a novel and I definitely didn’t know it was based on comic books,” he said.
“I just saw it as a movie itself so it didn’t have to live up to anything, didn’t have to overcome anything. It was just an amazing movie in and of itself.”
Earlier this year, Quentin Tarantino named seven “unassailable” movies, including Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Annie Hall (1977).
“It might not be your cup of tea but there’s nothing you can say to bring it down,” Tarantino said of the films on his list.
You can find the full list of seven “perfect” films, according to Tarantino, here.