From Guardians of the Galaxy to The Suicide Squad, every film by new DC boss James Gunn has a ranking

James Gunn has quickly become one of the most recognizable names in Hollywood. As a director, writer and producer, Gunn has held multiple roles and has been instrumental in shaping the cinematic oeuvre of Marvel and DC powerhouses. With the recent news that Gunn has been appointed co-CEO of DCUhe will be a key driving force in shaping the brand identity on screen.


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Gunn cut his teeth by working as a writer for Troma Entertainment, an independent film company known for its low-budget horror comedies. From then on he continued to work as an author, writing hits like Scooby Dooand the Dawn of the Dead make new. He made his directorial debut in 2006 SlideGunn hasn’t let up as he continues to direct major Hollywood releases while continuing to write for other projects.

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11.11 ‘The Specials’ (2000)

Two wannabe superheroes

Ironically, Gunn was working on this superhero spoof long before he directed the same blockbusters he satirized. The special offers follows a team of superheroes dubbed the seventh best in the world. The film eschews action to instead follow the heroes’ boring everyday lives, and is more of a comedy than an action film.

As Gunn’s second credit as a writer, his flair for offbeat humor is evident in this early entry in his filmography. While The special offers never broke into the mainstream market, it’s an often amusing takedown of familiar-faced superheroes such as Thomas Haden Church, Rob Loweand Judy Greer.

10/11 “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” (2004)

The Scooby Gang
Image via Warner Bros.

Although not as popular as the first film, Scooby Doo 2: Unleashed Monsters is still a worthy sequel to the Mystery Machine crew’s first live-action adventure. The Scooby gang are invited to the opening of a museum showcasing their past cases and are back in action when a masked figure steals the exhibits.

The actors from the original film all return to reprise their roles, and each is cast perfectly in bringing the iconic characters to life. A third film was planned, with Gunn making his directorial debut after writing the scripts for the first two films, but was canceled following the financial disappointment of part two.

Scooby Doo 2: Unleashed Monsters can be streamed on Netflix and HBO Max.

9/11 ‘Tromeo and Juliet’ (1997)

Two lovers hugged

Gunn’s first feature film is a dark comedy Romeo and Juliet. Trumpet and Juliet loosely tells the story of Shakespeare’s classic characters while adding much of Troma Entertainment’s trademark sex and violence. At some point Julia even turns into a cow monster.

While Gunn is now a long way from working on Troma’s deliciously depraved output, his satirical blood still flows through his veins, as all of his works share the same black humor and over-the-top violence.

Trumpet and Juliet can be streamed on Peacock and Tubi.

8/11 ‘Scooby-Doo’ (2002)

Shaggy and Scooby Doo
Image via Warner Bros.

Considered by many to be the definitive adaptation of the iconic animated film, Scooby Doo sees the gang reunited for the first time in two years after a nasty breakup. Invited to Spooky Island, the young detectives soon discover something is amiss with the resort vacation when the guests begin exhibiting strange behavior.

Scooby Doo was Gunn’s first mainstream project, and he originally envisioned a darker take on the characters in his script. Some of his more mature jokes were removed when filming began, and storylines commenting on Velma and Fred’s sexuality were also dropped in favor of what was considered a more “family-friendly” tone.

Scooby Doo can be streamed on Netflix and HBO Max.

7/11 ‘The Belko Experiment’ (2016)

A couple avoiding fire
Image via MGM

What’s worse than a long day at the office? A long day at the office with everyone else trying to kill you. That’s the scenario The Belko Experiment Pitches where the eighty employees of a large office building have to fight to the death before one survives.

Gunn teamed up with Wolf Creek director Greg McLean Therefore Battle Royale-inspired death game. While it doesn’t lean as much into the office environment as it could have (death by stapler, anyone), The Belko Experiment is still a fun watch and will please anyone looking for a tight action thriller.

The Belko Experiment can be streamed on Tubi.

6/11 ‘Slither’ (2006)

A teenager is surrounded by snails as they scale the walls of their room in Slither

For his directorial debut, Gunn chose to tackle intergalactic parasitic snails, and the result is one of the best horror comedies of the 2000s. When one of these invading aliens crashes in the woods of an American town, local Grant (Michael Rooker) becomes infected and begins spreading the worms to the rest of the townspeople.

Nathan Fillion and Elizabeth Banks Leading actors as the heroes, and their chemistry and willingness to go along with Gunn’s script help to enhance the film. Slide failed at the box office but remains an underrated part of Gunn’s filmography and an undeniable cult classic.

5/11 ‘Super’ (2010)

Super's Rainn Wilson and Elliot Page sit by the trash can on an empty suburban street

Gunn’s second attempt at the superhero genre before joining MCU, great Stars Rain Wilson as Frank, a mild-mannered chef who decides to become a superhero after his wife Sarah (Liv Tyler), leaving him for a local drug dealer, Jacques (Kevin bacon).

Frank takes on the nickname Crimson Bolt and fights crime alongside his overzealous sidekick Libby (Eliot Page). A realistic view of vigilante justice, great doesn’t shy away from showing the dangerousness of taking the law in hand while proudly displaying Gunn’s talent for R-rated violence.

4/11 ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ (2017)

Ego shows the Guardians his home
Image via Marvel

If the first film was an introduction to the unfamiliar comic book characters for moviegoers, then so be it Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is an exploration of the family dynamics shared by the crew of the Milano. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) gains main focus as he hits Ego (Kurt Russell), who claims to be his father.

Vol.2 isn’t as strong as its predecessor, but it’s still a great entry into Marvel’s Phase Three. Gunn delivers some genuinely emotional moments between characters, and the stellar cast lives up to the task. Vol. 3 is due next year and fans are eagerly awaiting as Gunn wraps up the saga of Marvel’s favorite space team.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 can be streamed on Disney+.

3/11 ‘The Suicide Squad’ (2021)

The cast of The Suicide Squad
Image from Warner Bros

After Gunn was fired from Marvel, DC quickly came in and signed him on. Given his choice of which trait to adapt, Gunn settled on Suicide Squad, and his take on bad boys turned good led to one of the best films in the DCU.

The Suicide Squad sheds a spotlight on a number of underrated DC characters while allowing it to Margot Robbie another smack on Harley Quinn. The property was the perfect choice for Gunn, and without the constraints of Marvel’s family-friendly mission, he delivered a powerful superhero story filled with glorious violence and bawdy language.

The Suicide Squad can be streamed on HBO Max.

2/11 “Dawn of the Dead” (2004)

Ving Rhames, Sarah Polley, Jake Weber, Inna Korobkina and Mekhi Phifer in Dawn of the Dead.
Image via Universal

Zack Snyder has always been a divisive director, but his attitude George A Romerois classic Dawn of the Dead remains one of the best horror remakes of all time. It takes the concept of the original and expands on the cast, scope and storyline. dusk is a thrill and deserves to be called one of the best zombie movies of all time.

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Gunn provided the script for the film, pushing it into more action-oriented territory than the slower paced original. While the film focuses more on shootouts with the undead than its character development, the large cast still focuses enough to instill a sense of sadness as they all fall victim to the voracious horde.

Dawn of the Dead can be streamed on Hulu.

1/11 “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy Lineup

Gunn’s best film and one of the best entries in the entire MCU. Guardians of the Galaxy is everything a great Marvel film should be: action-packed, funny, moving, and a gateway for audiences to discover some of the best comic book characters in history.

Guardian is the origin story of the ragtag group of space mercenaries, showing how the small group of criminals first met and why they stand together. While the characters all remain distant from one another, it eventually culminates in one of the best superhero teams within the MCU.

Guardians of the Galaxy can be streamed on Disney+.

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