James Gunn Criticizes “Cameo Porn” in Superhero Movies, Says DCEU Has Had ‘No Real Consistency'

The director said that cameos work so long as there is a purpose.

(Photo by Charley Gallay / Getty Images for Warner Bros and DC Films)

James Gunn had a bone to pick with the lack of consistency in the DC Universe

During an open conversation with fans on Instagram Threads, the movie director took time to reflect on the DC Universe and how he felt about cameo appearances in superhero movies. According to Gunn, the DCU needs help with consistency with its films and characters. 

"One of the problems with DCEU content in the past was there was no real consistency within the universe itself," he said. "This never meant – & I never said, as this is how we always envisioned it – all animated & video game content would be in the DCU. I did (& still) say MOST tv & film will be in the DCU with the occasional Elseworld tale (like Matt's The Batman), but it will have to be exceptional."

Gunn was asked his thoughts on cameo appearances, and he wasted no time saying he didn't have a problem with them so long as they didn't interrupt the film's narrative. 

"That's fine if it doesn't disrupt the story," Gunn wrote. "It's the plot contrivances that develop from a cameo, not the cameo itself."

Someone said these cameo appearances are a result of directors "having the character appear on screen for 10 seconds to mark a checkbox."

Gunn replied, "I call that 'Cameo Porn' and it has been one of the worst elements of recent superhero films. If a character is in film, they have to have a reason to be there story-wise."

Another person shared an article titled "SUPERMAN: LEGACY Director James Gunn Defends Reboot's Large Cast And Says Superheroes Aren't Just Cameos" where Gunn commented on his upcoming film having a boatload of characters. 

According to Gunn, "The whole point was it's NOT a large film – I mean, not in terms of cast. It's normal for single protagonist films to have other characters – much more unusual for them not to." He also added that all the extra characters in Legacy "aren't cameos."

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