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How Guardians of the Galaxy Influenced the MCU and the DCEU

The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe largely depends on the risks it took in the past few years. One of them was bringing the least known Marvel characters, Guardians of the Galaxy to the screen. This idea was received with a fair share of speculation since the Guardians were almost a dead entity of Marvel Comics. However, the studios saw potential in it and hired the bold James Gunn to helm it. 

It’s been about seven years, and the misfits of the galaxy are now a big-time franchise on a global scale. Its success even revived the characters in the books, with Marvel releasing newer issues of their adventures. James Gunn’s direction rocketed it to one of the biggest box office hits for Marvel at that time after The Avengers and Iron Man 3. Today, heroes like Groot and Rocket Raccoon are household names with a plethora of merchandise. 

Gunn’s creation not only changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also the DC Extended Universe. While the Guardians eventually became a part of the Avengers in Infinity War and Endgame, DCEU altered its future for GOTG. 

Unlike iconic superheroes like Spider-Man, the Guardians were totally unknown to moviegoers. But Gunn knew how to blend the right ingredients of comedy-action, visuals, and emotions to churn out a memorable experience. Its comedic tone changed the game for the superhero genre. 

How it Changed DCEU

David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, on the other hand, was supposed to take a darker tone, following the story of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The productions had also wrapped up but the latter’s disappointing reviews sent Warner Bros. to panic. The chaos escalated further when Deadpool and GOTG were met with a positive response because of their comedy. As a result, the studios called back for reshoots and added modifications. In Ayer’s words “My soulful drama was beaten into a ‘comedy’.”

These changes were largely influenced by Deadpool but the film was compared to Guardians because of its marketing. Promoting misfits or convicts who were compelled to join forces and fight the bigger villain had GOTG written over it. The key element of both these films was the gang of unknown characters who didn’t wear the hero’s cape.

But adopting these changes and following GOTG backfired for DCEU. Though the movie made $746.8 million globally, it received harsh criticism. Its poor performance forced the studios to rethink their future movie plans. Instead of redirecting a sequel, Ayer went on to make Gotham City Sirens which is still on hold. Additionally, plans to make Joker and Joker-Harley Quinn movie starring Jared Leto got nixed. 

While DCEU was struggling and strategizing to save itself from drowning, MCU was reaching for the sky. Guardians’ surging fame earned it a key spot in MCU’s biggest movie, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. 

However, when Disney fired James Gunn for his controversial age-old tweets, Warner Bros. got hold of the genius immediately. They offered him the opportunity to revive the Suicide Squad in his style. Disney’s temporary loss became WB’s gain as the latest The Suicide Squad is garnering great response with Gunn’s colourful essence painted all over it.

Written by Ipshita Barua