Clerks director Kevin Smith praises James Gunn’s way of handling DCU rumors and backlash by addressing them personally on social media.
Clerks III director Kevin Smith praises James Gunn’s approach to addressing rumors and backlash about the DC Universe future. Smith, known as the quiet half of the Jay and Silent Bob duo from the Clerks franchise, has established himself as a now veteran director since the early 90s, directing Clerks, Clerks II, Dogma, Chasing Amy and Yoga Hosers. The latest installment in the Clerks franchise, Clerks III, was released in 2022. Smith also hosts a variety of podcasts, including Fatman Beyond which initially focused on DC’s Batman comic book character, but has since broadened its focus to discuss the various geeky interests of Smith and co-host Mark Bernardin. Meanwhile, the DC Universe has since come under fire following the revamping of its slate by James Gunn since he was named co-CEO of DC Studios.
Kevin Smith has good things to say about James Gunn’s handling of the DC Universe backlash. During a live-streaming episode on YouTube of his Fatman Beyond podcast (below), Smith addresses the recent shifts in DC’s upcoming cinematic projects.
Though he acknowledges Gunn has received a lot of backlash in response to his new direction and that many fans are less than pleased at some of these changes, he states that he is impressed with Gunn’s on-hands approach to dealing with DC fans. Smith expresses his respect for Gunn’s personal touch, comparing it to Marvel’s lack of communication with its audience.
“I like how James is just being his own publicist for the entire DC/Warner Bros. division. Whatever it is. Like, it’s smart. Everyone should be as accountable as he is. I know a lot of people are like, ‘Ah, I don’t like what he’s doing!’ But, at least he’s answering questions. He’s not hiding. And he’s not being sh**** about it… He’s like, ‘Look, we’re doing a thing. And we’re sorry if that hurts some people’s feelings.’ I respect that he’s answering questions. He doesn’t have to. How often does anybody over at Marvel go ‘Alright, let’s address the fans’ concerns!’ It doesn’t really happen.”
Everything We Know About James Gunn’s DCU Plans So Far
James Gunn made headlines recently when it was announced Henry Cavill would not reprise the role of Superman going forward following Gunn’s plan to explore the superhero’s younger years. It has also been announced that Patty Jenkins would no longer direct Wonder Woman 3, after making the first two Wonder Woman films. Gunn has also said that a couple of DC projects will be officially announced in early 2023, but has yet to confirm an exact announcement date. Gunn has indeed been personally interacting with fans online through Twitter and Instagram to debunk rumors. However, there’s a difference between responding directly to fans and actually listening to them.
While it is admirable that Gunn is taking the time to personally respond to and interact with DC fans on social media, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that he is heeding their thoughts, concerns, and input. Building a franchise is a difficult thing to pull off when the source material already has its own fan base. Gunn, as well as any filmmaker and show creator, should maintain creative control and the freedom to tell the stories as they feel is right without by fan service. However, they wouldn’t have the opportunity to adapt the story at all were it not for the enthusiasm of its vocal following, and filmmakers should be weary of the risk of alienating them. One could argue that an adaptation of a story belongs in part to the fans that made it a success in the first place.
As the Guardians of the Galaxy 3 director recently acknowledged on Twitter back in December, an uproar following the shift in direction at DC/Warner Bros. was to be expected. While feelings may still be strong with DC fans for the time being, it’s still too early in the process to know for sure whether these changes will be embraced or cause further controversy in the long term. Regardless, Gunn’s personal approach in dealing with fans so far shows that he is taking his new role seriously, which bodes well for the DC Universe.
Next: Everything James Gunn Has Actually Confirmed & Revealed About The DCU
Source: Kevin Smith/YouTube