James Francis Gunn is an American director, actor, producer, and screenwriter. He began his screenwriting career in the mid-1990s. He then began working as a director, from the horror comedy film Slither to the superhero genre with Guardians of the Galaxy. 2 and the Suicide Squad. James Gunn also wrote and directed PG Porn web series and the superhero film Super.
James Francis Gunn was born on August 5, 1966 in St. Louis, Missouri, to parents Leota and lawyer James F. Gunn. He grew up between St. Louis and Manchester, Missouri. He is of Irish and Jewish descent. Gunn has indicated that his family’s last name was originally the Irish name MacGilgunn and that it means “sons of the servants of the god of the dead”; it means “son of brown”.
Growing up, Gunn was influenced by low-budget films like Night of the Living Dead and Friday the 13th. He read magazines like Fangoria and attended genre film screenings, including the original Dawn of the Dead at the Tivoli Theater in St. Louis.
Gunn and his brothers all attended Jesuit High School at Saint Louis University, where he graduated in 1984. He then earned a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Louis University. While at Saint Louis University, Gunn created weekly political cartoons for the school’s students, The University News.
Gunn began his film career in 1995 with Troma Entertainment, for which he wrote the independent film Tromeo and Juliet. Working with his mentor, Lloyd Kaufman, co-founder of Troma, Gunn learned how to write scripts, produce films, find locations, direct actors, distribute films and create his own posters. After starring, writing, producing and starring in several other Troma films, Gunn starred in the 2000 superhero comedy The Specials, directed by Craig Mazin, starring Rob Lowe, Thomas Haden Church, Paget Brewster, Judy Greer and Jamie Kennedy.
Gunn’s first major Hollywood script was Scooby-Doo in 2002. In 2004 he wrote the scripts for the remake Dawn of the Dead and the sequel Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. With these films, Gunn became the first screenwriter to have two feature films in consecutive weeks. In the same year he produced and starred in the mock documentary LolliLove, in which his then wife Jenna Fischer directed and starred. His debut as a film director was the 2006 horror comedy Slither, which made Rotten Tomatoes’ 50 Best Horror Movies of All Time list.
In 2010, Gunn released Super, a dark comedy and superhero satire starring Rainn Wilson and Elliot Page. He also directed part of the 2013 comedy anthology film Movie 43; the segment consisted of Elizabeth Banks and Josh Duhamel.
Gunn co-wrote and directed the Marvel Studios adaptation of Guardians of the Galaxy, which was released on August 1, 2014. His brother Sean plays a role in the film. Gunn has appeared as an actor, mostly in smaller roles or in uncredited appearances in his own projects.
Gunn wrote and produced the horror film The Belko Experiment, which was released in 2017. In 2016 he shot three Stan Lee cameo scenes in one day for the film Doctor Strange and two unknown projects.
Gunn wrote and directed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Gunn was to lead Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in July 2018.
In October 2018, Gunn was hired to write a full article for The Suicide Squad, which will also serve as director, after its original director Gavin O’Connor left due to planning issues. In January 2019, he was officially confirmed as head of the suicide squad. He will also write, direct, and produce a spin-off television series that focuses on the character Peacemaker, who plays John Cena for HBO Max. Gunn will also co-write and produce an action / animation film, Coyote vs Acme, for Warner Animation Group, based on Looney Tunes character Wile E. Coyote.
He has received the Bram Stoker Award, the Chainsaw Award, the Saturn Award, the Writers Guild of America Awards, the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Hollywood Film Awards for his outstanding achievements in various areas of the film industry. James Gunn has a wonderful career and a large following. His career does not appear to back off at any point in the near future.