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James Gunn Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (5) | Trivia (18) | Personal Quotes (23)

Overview (3)

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Birth NameJames Francis Gunn Jr.
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

James Gunn was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri in a large Irish Catholic family. His father and his uncles were all lawyers. He has been writing and performing as long as he can remember. He began making 8mm films at the age of 12. Many of these were comedic splatter films featuring his brothers being disemboweled by zombies.

Gunn dropped out of college to pursue a rock and roll career. His band, "the Icons", released one album, "Mom, We Like It Here on Earth". He earned very little money doing this and so during this time, he also worked as an orderly in Tucson, Arizona, upon which many of the situations in his first novel, "The Toy Collector", are based. He also wrote and drew comic strips for underground and college newspapers.

Gunn eventually returned to school and received his B.A. at Saint Louis University. He immediately thereafter moved to New York where he received an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, which he today thinks may have been a wonderfully expensive waste of time.

While finishing his MFA, Gunn started writing "The Toy Collector" and began working for "Troma Studios", America's leading B-Movie production company. While there he wrote and produced the cult classic Tromeo and Juliet (1996) and, with Lloyd Kaufman, he wrote the book, "All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger".

Gunn had a spiritual awakening in Cannes France in 1997. At that time, he quit Troma and moved from New York to Los Angeles. He wrote and acted in the film The Specials (2000) with Rob Lowe, Jamie Kennedy, Thomas J. Churchill and his brother Sean Gunn. He wrote two scripts for Warner Brothers live action movies: Spy vs. Spy (1985) and Scooby-Doo (2002). In 1999, after almost five years, he finished "The Toy Collector". After doing Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), James Gunn made his directoral debut with Slither (2006). He later made the superhero film Super (2010) and the successful Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and its sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Gunn has four brothers, all of whom are in the entertainment industry. His brother, Patrick Gunn, is a Senior VP at Artisan Entertainment, the company responsible for distributing (and the marketing campaign of) The Blair Witch Project (1999). His brother, Brian Gunn, is a screenwriter who works in partnership with their cousin Mark Gunn. Brian and Mark wrote the MTV-TV movie 2gether, and are executive producers on the upcoming television series of the same name. Gunn's brother, Matt Gunn wrote and starred in the winner of the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, Man About Town, Gunn's brother, Sean Gunn is an actor regularly seen in films, commercials, and such TV shows as Angel (1999). Gunn and Sean have collaborated on two occasions Sean starred in Tromeo and Juliet (1996), and they acted together and co-produced The Specials (2000). He has one sister, Beth, who is a lawyer.

Gunn married the actress and cartoonist Jenna Fischer in 2000. They were divorced in 2008. Gunn is now in a relation ship with Jennifer Holland

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill Sinewski

Spouse (1)

Jenna Fischer (7 October 2000 - 2008) (divorced)

Trade Mark (5)

Heavy use of tongue-in-cheek dialogue.
Unconventional characters.
Nearly always casts Nathan Fillion, Gregg Henry, Michael Rooker, Lloyd Kaufman, brother Sean Gunn and Rob Zombie in his movies. His dog Wesley Von Spears often get the roles as well.
His spiky hair.
His movies almost always deal with preserving humanity and optimism through hard circumstances and bizzare events unfolding.

Trivia (18)

The character "Gunn" on the TV series Angel (1999) was named such after Angel (1999) creator Joss Whedon worked with both James and his brother Sean Gunn.
Took five years to write his first novel, "The Toy Collector."
Is an avid comic book reader.
Has worked as a hospital orderly, bar musician, and quarry worker.
Choreographed the sex scenes for Tromeo and Juliet (1996).
Was hired to write Scooby-Doo (2002) after doing a draft of Spy vs. Spy (1985) for Warner Bros. and director Jay Roach.
Wrote the screenplays for both The Specials (2000) and Tromeo and Juliet (1996) in two week binges.
Interviewed for summer job filing papers at Troma Films, and was instead hired to write the screenplay for Tromeo and Juliet (1996) (and was paid $150 dollars to do so).
Earned an MFA from Columbia University in New York.
Brother of actor Sean Gunn, writer Brian Gunn, filmmaker Matt Gunn and movie exec Patrick Gunn.
Was part of a Saint Louis consortium of teenage, amateur filmmakers who were called "The Splicers," that included George Hickenlooper, Bill Boll, Tim Gallaher, Steve Goedde, and Chris Curtis.
The first person in cinema history to write back-to-back #1 for the weekend box office hits, with Dawn of the Dead (2004) on 19 March 2004 and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004) on 26 March 2004.
Former son-in-law of Anne Fischer.
Cousin of Mark Gunn.
Appeared as himself in the 2008 novel Bad Moon Rising by Jonathan Maberry. Gunn is one of several real-world horror celebrities who are in the fictional town of Pine Deep when monsters attack. Other celebrities include Tom Savini, Brinke Stevens, Ken Foree, Stephen Susco, Debbie Rochon, Joe Bob Briggs (aka John Bloom) and blues man Mem Shannon.
Told NYTimes in August 2011 that the horror film with the most profound impact on him when he was young was Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), because the most frightening aspect of all was that it moved him to relate to, or empathize, with the killer.
Owns a hand-painted movie poster, directly sourced from Ghana, for Slither (2006).
Graduated from Saint Louis University High (SLUH) college preparatory school in St. Louis, MO.

Personal Quotes (23)

Money doesn't buy happiness, but it does buy happier.
On Scooby-Doo: "With all the difficulties plaguing the world over the past year, isn't it about time we had a hero who tells kids it's okay to be afraid?" "Scooby's the greatest cartoon character ever. He isn't cute like Mickey, or smart like Bugs, or fearless like Woody and Buzz -- he's a talking dog who's more human than I am. It's his humanity and imperfections that make him special."
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade, if life gives you assholes, make a Troma movie.
I saw Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) in a theater when it first came out, and it was so gritty and dark I felt sick to my stomach for a couple of days afterwards - like the evil of it stuck to my soul. Part of what was so frightening was Rooker, Michael's incredible performance. We normally distance ourselves from villains, but I almost felt for him as Henry. The last thing you want to do is identify with a serial killer. That's scarier than anything jumping out of the corner of a film frame.
I can't be told life is beautiful through a normal positive thinking book or a Hallmark movie; that language doesn't work for me.
One rule of invention: before you can invent it, you have to imagine it.
I love the attention and I hate the attention, you know? It's not always good for your soul.
It's impossible not to constantly adjust the way you look at yourself.
I feel like I've kinda danced around telling the truest story I can for many years of my life. I've been a little distracted by trying to be shocking or edgy or cool or whatever, and by letting go of that and telling the truest story I can - even if it's about aliens and talking raccoons - it works.
Movies aren't machines. They interact with our brains.
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with different planets in the solar system, and I used to create, for every single planet, a different alien race with a certain kind of pet, a certain kind of house, a certain kind of water system, and everything. I would draw these pictures. I had hundreds of these pictures in a box.
Science fiction literature's focus is on ideas, the concept of change, and the impact on humanity. Those concepts are hard to capture on film. They work better in the mind.
I like the Nova Corps; I just don't like Nova that much! He's okay, you know? I just don't like that helmet!
I have a very strong imagination and have since I was a little kid. That is where a lot of my world comes from. It's like I'm off somewhere else. And I can have a problem in life because of that, because I'm always off in some other world thinking about something else. It's constant.
The movies I like watching the most are these sort of cinema verite, handheld films where you really get gritty with people. But I also have this strange affinity for old Rock Hudson/Doris Day movies and things that sort of pop out where you see the frames, where you have these 2D animation moments and split-screens and things like that.
I guess I am an optimist in a pessimist brain, if that makes any sense. I believe in the innate goodness of most people in this world, and yet I'm a damaged soul like many other people and have my own demons and things I struggle with.
I love 'Empire' - it's my favorite of the 'Star Wars' series.
I would say the main thing is, don't just copy yourself, which is what a lot of sequels do. And in some cases, it works. Like James Bond movies. But James Bond is a different type of character.
The popularity of fantasy surpassing science fiction and the popularity of apocalyptic fiction, particularly for young adults, may indicate a desire to escape a more difficult and confusing reality, even in astrophysics and particle physics.
I think that one of the things that drives me in telling stories, and art in general, is finding the beautiful in a big mass of ugly.
Science fiction writers aren't in the prediction business; they're in the speculation business, using 'hasn't happened' or 'hasn't happened yet' to create entertaining scenarios that may or may not anticipate future realities.
I've always believed in the power of rational thinking and behavior as the savior of the world, and science fiction as a powerful medium to encourage that, which explains my signature line, 'Let's save the world through science fiction.'
By isolating the issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, climate change, environment, governance, economics, catastrophe and whatever other problems the present embodies or the future may bring, science fiction can do what Dickens and Sinclair did: make real the consequences of social injustice or human folly.

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