James Gunn, CEO of DC Studios and director of Marvel Cinematic Universe's upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," has raised the possibility of a crossover between the two superhero franchises.
For many fans, the prospect of seeing the Avengers and Justice League united on the big screen has been a long-held dream, and the idea has even been explored in the JLA/Avengers comic event from the early 2000s.
Recent developments in the MCU have added fuel to the speculation. The universe has confirmed the existence of certain DC heroes as fictional characters, with Superman being referenced in "Eternals" and Kevin Bacon doing a Batman impression in "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special."
James Gunn Explains Marvel & DC Crossover Possibility
Speaking with Fandango during the press tour for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, newly-placed DC Studios CEO James Gunn gave his thoughts on Marvel and DC potentially crossing over, having now worked on both sides of the coin.
Gunn noted how "there's always the possibility" for that to happen, but the focus right now is on making each of the respective universes "as strong as possible:"
"I think there's always the possibility of that. I think that would be a fun thing for fans to see. But I do think it's just about grounding the Marvel and DC universes right now and trying to make them each as strong as possible."
The DC Studios boss added how he is "very close friends" and "[talks] all the time" with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. He also explained how, while there is "some rivalry" between the superhero companies, they both have the same goal to "embolden the movie-going experience:"
"I think that the crossover I like is that [Kevin Feige] and I are very close friends. So, we talk all the time. I think that the idea of a rivalry between Marvel and DC, of course, there's always going to be some rivalry. But what's really important to me is that we embolden the movie-going experience. And the theater-going experience is something that survives on big spectacle movies today."
Gunn noted how "a dollar for Marvel is not a dollar less for DC," and both sides making good superhero movies only brings more audiences to the theaters and serves to benefit both sides:
"So, if we're really going to allow it to thrive that means we want good movies to be made, and that's going to happen with Marvel movies and DC. And contrary to popular belief, a dollar for Marvel is not a dollar less for DC, quite the opposite. You make good Marvel movies, it brings people to theaters, and they go see more good DC movies. You make good DC movies, it brings them to the theater, and they go see good Marvel movies."
Back in June 2021, long before he became CEO of DC Studios in November 2022, Gunn revealed that he had "casually talked" to the top executives at both Marvel and DC about a potential crossover. While it seems unlikely, Gunn hinted that it is still possible.
"I’ve casually talked to the powers-that-be at both Marvel & DC about it. I would love for it to happen. I don’t think it’s likely, but I don’t think it’s an impossibility either."
The superhero veteran filmmaker even revealed his dream pitch for a Marvel and DC crossover which involves both his Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad franchises coming together through "a Harley Quinn and Groot movie:"
"I would really be happy to do a Harley Quinn and Groot movie, that would be exciting for me. Not only have I thought about that, but I've actually talked about that to the heads of both Marvel and DC. They know everybody's open to everything, but whether anything would ever happen, who knows?"
Could Marvel & DC Ever Actually Crossover?
The idea of a crossover between Marvel and DC seems almost impossible due to the complex web of negotiations required to navigate the rights and financial issues involved, as well as the question of which studio would make the movie.
However, James Gunn's recent appointment as DC Studios CEO raises the possibility of the two sides eventually discussing a collaboration, given his close relationship with Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige.
For now, both Marvel and DC are focused on improving their own universes and developing their own projects. It's possible that if the superhero genre eventually began to lose steam, the two companies might come to the negotiating table. However, despite recent struggles with films like Ant-Man 3 and Shazam 2, the genre continues to thrive, with plenty of excitement surrounding the future of both franchises.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters on Friday, May 5. James Gunn's next superhero movie at DC will be Superman: Legacy, which releases on July 11, 2025.