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James Gunn warns studios not to miss the point of Deadpool success


Story by Jack Foley

JAMES Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy, has taken to social media to warn against the dangers of the success of Deadpool.

In a post sharing his thoughts via Facebook, the director – who enjoyed a similar ‘surprise’ box office success with his movie – warned that studios may take away the wrong lessons from the surprise success of the R-rated Ryan Reynolds superhero movie.

He wrote: “After every movie smashes records people here in Hollywood love to throw out the definitive reasons why the movie was a hit. I saw it happen with Guardians.

“It ‘wasn’t afraid to be fun’ or it ‘was colorful and funny’ etc etc etc. And next thing I know I hear of a hundred film projects being set up “like Guardians,” and I start seeing dozens of trailers exactly like the Guardians trailer with a big pop song and a bunch of quips. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.”

Hence, in the wake of Deadpool‘s success, Gunn went on to predict: “You’ll see Hollywood misunderstanding the lesson they should be learning with Deadpool. They’ll be green lighting films ‘like Deadpool’ – but, by that, they won’t mean ‘good and original’ but ‘a raunchy superhero film’ or ‘it breaks the fourth wall.’ They’ll treat you like you’re stupid, which is the one thing Deadpool didn’t do.”

However, Gunn did sign off with one note of optimism: “Hopefully, in the midst of all this there will be a studio or two that will take the right lesson from this — like Fox did with Guardians by green-lighting Deadpool — and say — ‘Boy, maybe we can give them something they don’t already have.’”

Whichever studio does that, he suggests, is “who is going to succeed”.

Deadpool massively surpassed expectation by taking a whopping $135 million over the three-day Valentine’s Day/Presidents Day weekend in the US, breaking a number of records along the way and marking a personal triumph for leading man Reynolds and director Tim Miller, who had taken over a decade to convince the studio to make it.

Indeed, it was only when footage was leaked online that the studios decided to take notice of the potential for the film – but even then, greenlit it on a modest budget with a view to an opening weekend somewhere in the region of $65 to $70 million.

The ensuing film, which has been greeted with a chorus of approval by fans and critics alike, has also won the admiration of Gunn, who earlier in his Facebook post noted: “It’s original, it’s damn good, it was made with love by the filmmakers, and it wasn’t afraid to take risks.”

He also highlighted the fact that the movie is “its own thing” and “THAT’S what people are reacting to”.

Gunn’s own Guardians follow-up, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, is currently in pre-production ahead of its May 5, 2017 release.

Next story: Production begins on Star Wars: Episode VIII as Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern join