James Gunn

James Gunn Headshot

Director • Producer • Writer

Birth Date: August 5, 1966

Age: 57 years old

Birth Place: St. Louis, Missouri

Spouses: Jenna Fischer, Jennifer Holland

Screenwriter and director James Gunn applied his fondness for the comic book idiom -- as well as a healthy dash of irreverent humor -- to a host of popular genre films, including "Scooby-Doo" (2002), a remake of George A. Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" (2004), and the Marvel Cinematic Universe bockbuster "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014). Born in St. Louis, Missouri on August 5, 1970, Gunn was raised in a large Irish Catholic family in the suburb of Manchester. As a child, he struggled to connect with his peers, but found solace in a huge comic book collection purchased for him by his father. From there, he began experimenting with Super 8 movies, which allowed him to experiment with early efforts in the horror genre. He briefly attended college but dropped out to play in a rock band. He also briefly supported himself as a hospital orderly in Tucson, Arizona while also writing and drawing comic strips for underground publications. Gunn completed his bachelor's degree at St. Louis University and headed for New York, where he received an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. While there, he penned his first novel, The Toy Collector (1999), while also exploring the world of low-budget filmmaking with the New York-based exploitation production company Troma Entertainment. Initially hired as an intern, Gunn was quickly promoted to write and co-direct one of the company's most substantial hits, the raunchy spoof "Tromeo and Juliet" (1996). In 2000, he relocated to Los Angeles to write and produce "The Specials" (2000), a superhero comedy with Rob Lowe, Thomas Haden Church and Judy Greer that became a minor cult hit on home video. Gunn scored his first major hit with the script for a live-action film version of "Scooby-Doo" (2002), starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, and Matthew Lillard as the Mystery Machine team. This surprise hit was soon followed by a sequel, "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed" (2004) and the script for director Zach Snyder's remake of "Dawn of the Dead" (2004). The success of both films made Gunn the first screenwriter to land two projects at the top of the box office in consecutive weeks. Gunn made his feature directorial debut with "Slither" (2006), a wry science fiction comedy that received critical acclaim but only modest box office returns. He then ventured into television, directing several pilots for Xbox Live as well as a short-form web series called "PG Porn" (2008-09) which parodied adult film tropes. After helming the dark superhero comedy "Super" (2009), Gunn scored his first major hit as director and writer with "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014) a tongue-in-cheek live action take on a lesser-known title from the Marvel Comics stable starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. The film scored big numbers at the box office, as well as near-unanimous critical praise for Gunn's reverential but tongue-in-cheek take on comic book space operas. The sequel, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (2017) was also a hit. In the midst of planning for the third film in the series, an online alt-right conspiracy theorist named Michael Cernovich, upset at Gunn's increasingly vocal criticism of Donald Trump, resurfaced a number of Gunn's old tweets from 2009 that included deliberately shocking and vulgar jokes about pedophilia and other taboos. In the ensuing uproar, Gunn was fired from directing "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" and relieved of his other duties in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, unlike in many other cases of Hollywood personalities losing jobs because of social media protests, there was a backlash against Disney/Marvel's quick decision, with many supporters pointing out that Cernovich himself had tweeted in support of raping women in the past. On July 30, 2018, a statement in support of Gunn was signed by the "Guardians of the Galaxy" cast, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Dave Bautista.

Credits

Superman

Director
Movie
2025

Superman

Screenwriter
Movie
2025

Joker: Folie à Deux

Executive Producer
Movie
2024

Assembled: The Making of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Self
Show
2023

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3Stream

Director
Movie
2023
82%

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3Stream

Screenwriter
Movie
2023
82%

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday SpecialStream

Director
Movie
2022
94%

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday SpecialStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2022
94%

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday SpecialStream

Writer
Movie
2022
94%

PeacemakerStream

Director
Series
2022
94%

PeacemakerStream

Executive Producer
Series
2022
94%

PeacemakerStream

Writer
Series
2022
94%

The Suicide Squad: Extras

Director
Show
2021

The Suicide SquadStream

Director
Movie
2021
90%

The Suicide SquadStream

Screenwriter
Movie
2021
90%

Avengers: EndgameStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2019
94%

BrightburnStream

Producer
Movie
2019
57%

James Cameron's Story of Science FictionStream

Guest
Docuseries
2018
83%

Avengers: Infinity WarStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2018
85%

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Stream

Director
Movie
2017
85%

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Stream

Screenwriter
Movie
2017
85%

BullStream

Guest Star
Uniformed Officer
Series
2016

ChelseaStream

Guest
Talk
2016
41%

The Belko Experiment

Producer
Movie
2016

The Belko Experiment

Screenwriter
Movie
2016

Con ManStream

Guest Star
Raaker 2.0
Series
2015

Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise

Guest
Show
2015

Guardians of the GalaxyStream

Director
Movie
2014
92%

Guardians of the GalaxyStream

Screenwriter
Movie
2014
92%

ガーディアンズ・オブ・ギャラクシー

Director
Movie
2014

ガーディアンズ・オブ・ギャラクシー

Screenwriter
Movie
2014

Movie 43

Director
Movie
2013

Movie 43

Screenwriter
Movie
2013

Breaking InStream

Guest Star
Himself
Series
2011
56%

Super

Director
Movie
2010

Super

Screenwriter
Movie
2010

Tromatized, Meet Lloyd Kaufman

Actor
Movie
2009

Scream QueensStream

Actor
Reality
2008

Scream QueensStream

Judge
Reality
2008

etalk

Guest
Show
2006

Between the Lines With Barry Kibrick

Guest
Show
2006

SlitherStream

Director
Movie
2006
87%

SlitherStream

Writer
Movie
2006
87%

Lollilove

Actor
James
Movie
2004

Lollilove

Executive Producer
Movie
2004

Dawn of the DeadStream

Screenwriter
Movie
2004
76%

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed

Writer (Screenplay)
Movie
2004

Tales From the Crapper

Self
Movie
2004

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

Guest
Talk
2003

The Ghouls

Actor
Movie
2003

Last Call With Carson Daly

Guest
Talk
2002

Scooby Doo

Writer
Movie
2002

Scooby-DooStream

Screenwriter
Movie
2002

Scooby-DooStream

Writer (Story)
Movie
2002

The Specials

Actor
Minute Man/Tim Tilderbrook
Movie
2000

The Specials

Co-Producer
Movie
2000

The Specials

Writer
Movie
2000

Terror Firmer

Writer
Movie
1999

Tromeo & Juliet

Director
Movie
1996

Tromeo & Juliet

Executive Producer
Movie
1996

Tromeo & Juliet

Writer
Movie
1996

Dr. Kildare

Writer
Series
1961

Because They're Young

Screenwriter
Movie
1960

Over-Exposed

Screenwriter
Movie
1956

News aboutJames Gunn