Readers got a surprise this past weekend when Deadline posted a story announcing that James Gunn had died. The director has amassed an impressive fanbase with his hit Guardians of the Galaxy movies and is putting the finishing touches on this summer’s DCEU project The Suicide Squad, so it caused many a double take and some shock. But the headline turned out to be misleading, as the James Gunn that’s passed away is science fiction author James E. Gunn.
After being bombarded with worried messages, Gunn took to Twitter to confirm that he was indeed still alive, saying:
For the record, I’ve gotten dozens of messages from close friends & relatives who read this headline quickly & freaked out. I am alive. Different James Gunn – may he Rest in Peace. (But, @DEADLINE, you might have considered wording this differently).
James E. Gunn had a long and storied career in literature, with his best known work being 1962’s The Immortals, which was been adapted for TV twice. But that’s just one of his thirty published efforts (and over a hundred short stories). In his later years, he taught at the University of Kansas, where he founded the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, was honored as a Grand Master by the SF and Fantasy Writers of America Guild, and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2015. So, while he might not be as immediately familiar to fans as director James Gunn, he’s certainly someone worth mourning.
Meanwhile, the MCU/DCEU filmmaker is set for a very busy few years. As mentioned, he’s currently finalizing The Suicide Squad, though beyond that is the intriguing Peacemaker series, which will star John Cena and drop exclusively on HBO Max.
Then it’s back to the MCU, where he’ll first helm the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special for Disney+ and also begin production on the long-delayed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Of course, while all this is going on, he’s likely having at least some input into Thor: Love and Thunder, too, as his characters will be appearing in that film as well. Suffice it to say, then, James Gunn isn’t going to get much time for rest and relaxation over the next little while.