The Beginner’s Guide to James Gunn

The Beginner’s Guide to James Gunn

For Film Inquiry, a look at the career of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 director, James Gunn — a guy who never really left his subversive Troma roots.

In the summer of 2014, the unthinkable happened: Lloyd Kaufman appeared onscreen in a multi-million dollar Disney blockbuster. How did Kaufman, the president and co-founder of Troma Entertainment, a studio devoted to creating infamously offensive cheapies such as The Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke ‘Em High, wind up playing an inmate in Guardians of the Galaxy, the third-highest grossing film of that year?

The answer is Guardians director/co-writer James Gunn, who began his career working under Kaufman. Few moments better encapsulate Gunn’s style than that momentary fusion of Disney and Troma. Whether writing the screenplay for a big-screen Scooby-Doo adaptation or directing his violent indie Super, Gunn has kept not only the subversive streak one expects from a Troma alum, but also has a surprising ability to find empathy in the grotesque, something he did even while working for his provocative former employer.

Read the whole thing at Film Inquiry!

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