James Gunn assures fans he’s alive after obituary mixup

James Gunn and Suicide Squad cast
James Gunn and the cast of Suicide Squad. Pic credit: Warner Bros.

Fans are used to writer/director James Gunn taking to social media to share various news of his project.

But the Suicide Squad/Guardians of the Galaxy director had to use it for another reason recently: To let people know he was, in fact, still alive.

It turns out an obituary mixup had people briefly worrying Gunn had passed away prematurely at 54.

The wrong James Gunn

The whole thing started when news broke over the weekend that notable science-fiction author James E. Gunn passed away in late December 2020 at the age of 97.

The writer of The Listeners and The Immortal died of natural causes, but news of his death wasn’t widely released until February 12.

Naturally, the two similar names caused some fuss with the headline “James Gunn dies,” making fans believe it was the director instead.

It’s not the first time such a mix-up has happened as Gunn would often joke about fans bringing him James E. Gunn books to sign, assuming they were the same person.

It took nearly two months for the author Gunn’s passing to be so widely reported, which also contributed to the movie director’s confusion.

Prepping Suicide Squad

The Gunn mix-up came just as the director shared more information on his upcoming The Suicide Squad film.

The sequel to the 2016 film focuses on a team of DC super-villains forced into a secret mission by the government. Gunn stated, “The Suicide Squad story stands on its own, and there is no need to see the first one to know what’s going on.”

Gunn assured fans the film would be cutting loose with action.

100% more shark (and no holds barred in any way). No holds barred means I wasn’t constrained by the formulas of most tentpole films OR budget OR rating. YES sometimes those constraints can be a help, so I was committed to first [and] foremost telling a tight story about unlovable characters we could love.”

This ties into Gunn claiming that Warner Bros never interfered in his vision for the movie. This is a stark contrast to the infamously troubled production of the 2016 film.

Gunn also credited the comic book run written by John Ostrander as a key influence for his version.

Besides the movie, Gunn is also heavily into production for HBO Max’s Peacemaker series, with John Cena in the lead. He’s also currently preparing to film Guardians of the Galaxy 3.

Gunn is thus proving he’s alive and well and prepared to keep going with many projects to come.

The Suicide Squad premieres in theaters and HBO Max August 6. Peacemaker debuting on HBO Max in 2022.

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