James Francis Gunn Jr. (born August 5, 1966) is an American film director, actor, producer, screenwriter, and former musician. He began his career as a screenwriter in the mid-1990s, starting with Tromeo and Juliet (1997) and Terror Firmer (1999), both directed by Lloyd Kaufman. He also wrote and acted in the superhero comedy The Specials (2000), with Thomas Haden Church, Rob Lowe, Jamie Kennedy, Judy Greer, Sean Gunn (his brother who appears in a lot of his projects), Paget Brewster, Jordan Ladd, Jim Zulevic, and Kelly Coffield. He also co-starred in the film LolliLove (2004), written, directed by, and starring Jenna Fischer (whom he was married to from 2000 to 2008).
Gunn made his directorial debut with the horror comedy Slither (2006), with Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Tania Saulnier, Gregg Henry, and Michael Rooker. His other directing credits include the superhero comedy Super (2010), with Rainn Wilson, Elliot Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon and Fillion; the Marvel Cinematic Universe entry Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), with Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Benicio del Toro; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), with much of the main cast plus Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell; and the DC movie The Suicide Squad (2021), with Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Stallone, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, and Peter Capaldi.
Other screenwriting credits include the two live action Scooby-Doo movies (2002, 2004), collectively with Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Isla Fisher, Rowan Atkinson, Seth Green, Tim Blake Nelson, Peter Boyle, and Alicia Silverstone; Dawn of the Dead (2004), with Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Ty Burrell, and Mekhi Phifer; and The Belko Experiment (2016), with John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley, Melonie Diaz, Josh Brener, and Michael Rooker. He also produced the superhero horror film Brightburn (2019), with Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Matt Jones and Meredith Hagner; the script written by his brother Brian and cousin Mark.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Tromeo and Juliet (1997) – directed by Lloyd Kaufman – co-writer, actor
- Hamster PSA (1997) – director, writer – short
- Terror Firmer (1999) – directed by Lloyd Kaufman – co-writer
- The Specials (2000) – directed by Craig Mazin – writer, actor
- Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV (2000) – directed by Lloyd Kaufman – actor
- 13 Ghosts (2001) – directed by Steve Beck – uncredited co-writer
- Scooby-Doo (2002)* – directed by Raja Gosnell – writer, co-story
- The Ghouls (2003) – directed by Chad Ferrin – actor
- Melvin Goes to Dinner (2003) – directed by Bob Odenkirk – actor
- Dawn of the Dead (2004) – directed by Zack Snyder – writer
- Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004) – directed by Raja Gosnell – writer
- LolliLove (2004) – directed by Jenna Fischer – actor, uncredited co-writer
- Slither (2006) – director, writer, uncredited actor
- Super (2011) – director, writer, actor
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)* – director, co-writer, actor
- The Belko Experiment (2016) – directed by Greg McLean – writer, producer
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)* – director, writer
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)* – directed by Anthony & Joe Russo – executive producer, uncredited additional dialogue
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)* – directed by Anthony & Joe Russo – executive producer
- Brightburn (2019) – directed by David Yarovesky – co-producer
- The Suicide Squad (2021)* – director, writer
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) – directed by Taika Waititi – executive producer
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) – director, writer