james gunn

There’s snow on the ground here in Atlanta, and I can’t wait for Spring to finally arrive. Seriously.

Here are the big updates for this morning:

– This is not a big surprise, given that probably every actor that signs up for a superhero film these days has a multi-picture contract, but Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie has confirmed that she has one too. Get used to seeing lots of Harley Quinn in future DC movies, provide all goes well for the studio.

– Making the rounds yesterday was James Gunn‘s Facebook post regarding the awards-season/Birdman-birthed narrative that superhero movies are the death-knell of creativity in Hollywood, it’s pretty wonderful:

Whatever the case, the truth is, popular fare in any medium has always been snubbed by the self-appointed elite. I’ve already won more awards than I ever expected for Guardians. What bothers me slightly is that many people assume because you make big films that you put less love, care, and thought into them then people do who make independent films or who make what are considered more serious Hollywood films.

I’ve made B-movies, independent films, children’s movies, horror films, and gigantic spectacles. I find there are plenty of people everywhere making movies for a buck or to feed their own vanity. And then there are people who do what they do because they love story-telling, they love cinema, and they want to add back to the world some of the same magic they’ve taken from the works of others. In all honesty, I do no find a strikingly different percentage of those with integrity and those without working within any of these fields of film.

If you think people who make superhero movies are dumb, come out and say we’re dumb. But if you, as an independent filmmaker or a “serious” filmmaker, think you put more love into your characters than the Russo Brothers do Captain America, or Joss Whedon does the Hulk, or I do a talking raccoon, you are simply mistaken.

At this point, I have a hard time imagining that a comic-book based superhero film will ever win a live-action Best Picture Oscar (if The Dark Knight couldn’t even be nominated), but does it actually matter? Not really. Let’s just continue to hope for more Avengers, Dark Knights, Winter Soldiers and films with a nice personal stamp on them and less of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 variety.

– Telltale Games has, over the the past few years, sparked a revival of the adventure game genre with comics-based titles like The Walking Dead and Fables (along with Game of Thrones and Tales from the Borderlands). Today, Lionsgate Films and Telltale announced the former’s investment into the burgeoning game developer. What does it mean for Telltales’ output? We may see some television and video game co-development soon, particularly in terms of an original property. At the very least more Lionsgate properties will surely be headed into the development cycle.

– Former Bat-Mite voice actor Paul Reubens is bringing his famous Pee-Wee Herman character back to television, as Netflix has announced that the feature, Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday, will be coming to the streaming service. The new film is co-written by Reubens and Paul Rust (Comedy Bang Bang), with John Lee (Inside Amy Schumer) directing. Judd Apatow will produce under his Apatow Productions banner.


  1. When talking about superhero movies getting snubbed, I think the same can be said for comedies. If the academy really put a value on performances, then Jim Carrey should have one an Oscar for Ace Ventura. Can you imagine any other human being on the planet being able to play that role? Oscars are for movies that make you feel bad when you’re done watching them.

  2. I dunno Brian, I felt pretty alright after watching Argo. But you are right; few comedies, beyond those of Wes Anderson and Woody Allen, get much play with the Academy.

  3. While just about any film can qualify for Best Picture, there are many genres and types which rarely make it, even with the enlarged category.

    Documentaries have never qualified.
    Genre? LotR:TRotK is the only winner for fantasy.
    Foreign films and animated features most likely will never win Best Picture, as many voters will split their vote, letting those movies win BAF or BFF instead of Best Picture.

    So, no, I don’t expect a superhero movie to win Best Picture. A graphic novel adaptation? Certainly.

    Of the top 20 highest grossing movies of 2014, which was the best? (Ignore American Sniper… most of that box office came from 2015, post-nom.) Interstellar? The Lego Movie?

  4. For me, it’d be Interstellar…while a decent enough argument could be made for Gone Girl or The Lego Movie as well.

  5. It should be pointed out that while it wasn’t a live action movie, BIG HERO 6 did win an Oscar for best animated movie. So this makes BH6 the first comic book superhero movie to win a best picture Oscar.

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