Director James Gunn has opened up about how much he “needed” The Suicide Squad after Marvel parted ways with him.
During a recent interview with Esquire, Gunn reflected on the impact of crossing over to the DC franchise during his exile from Marvel. He indicated that The Suicide Squad arrived at just the right time for him, and credited the movie for having saved his life “in so many ways” because it helped him to “break outside” of where he was at the time.
“I’m baffled by where my life is right now, considering where it was almost exactly three years ago,” Gunn admitted. “It may sound stupid, but I thank God for all the stuff that I went through, because I really needed this movie,” he added. “I needed to tell the story. I needed to meet the people who I’ve met while doing this film.”
Gunn further expressed how much The Suicide Squad means to him, explaining that, from a creative point of view, the movie had helped him to rekindle his spirit and rediscover the reason why he wanted to start making movies in the first place — which is something he felt had been slightly lost along the way.
“I just needed this movie. I needed to break outside of where I was, because I was not the healthiest person at that time,” he revealed. “I was getting distracted by things that didn’t matter as much to me. With this, I really got back to just this pure creative spirit, which is why I made movies in the first place. And I think I had forgotten that a little bit.”
Gunn was ousted as the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise in 2018 after controversial tweets from a decade prior resurfaced online. Gunn’s firing was met with immediate backlash from both fans and his Guardians of the Galaxy cast members, who joined forces to issue a joint statement in support of the filmmaker.
The Suicide Squad – Theatrical Trailer
A year later, Gunn was reinstated as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, though he had to complete his work on The Suicide Squad before jumping back in with Star-Lord and his ragtag team of cosmic cult favorites. The movie is expected to start filming later this year, as the script is complete and most of the production leaders have been hired.
Meanwhile, The Suicide Squad is reaching the home stretch of its promotional run. Gunn took to Twitter on Friday to share a new poster for his standalone sequel, as well as a reason why its premiere date is special for him. Preview screenings will begin on August 5 before the movie starts its official rollout in theaters and on HBO Max (for 31 days) on August 6.
Adele Ankers is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.