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‘Guardians’ Director James Gunn: Shared Movie Universe ‘Business Model Is Flawed’

If you’re worried about the recent influx and potential resulting unwieldiness of shared movie universes, you’re not alone. “Guardians of the Galaxy” writer-director James Gunn is just as concerned.

Gunn took to Facebook to voice his skepticism about studios “trying to grow franchises from non-existent films or middling successes.”

“Listen, I love big (a–) shared universes in movies, as well as huge franchises,” he wrote in a Facebook post titled “Carts Before Horses & Hollywood’s New Love of Shared Universes.” “But I’m a little worried about the numerous shared universes being planned by the studios, without having a strong base film to grow from — or in some cases, NO base film to grow from.”

The director implies that franchises like “Star Wars,” “Iron Man,” “The Dark Knight” and even “Transformers” and “Twilight” are in the clear because they were conceived as single films and only grew into movie series following audience demand.

“But these days studios are trying to grow trees without a strong seed,” he wrote. “Execs and producers and sometimes even directors are focused on the big picture, without perfecting the task directly in front of them — making a great movie.”

With Marvel, Warner Bros. and Universal planning movies a decade in advance, and studios bringing movie worlds into the TV realm, the forest is denser than ever.

“In short, I think this new business model is flawed,” he continued. “I think filmmakers and studios should be prepared for the big picture, but never, ever let it get in the way of making a single great film. Be a little more experimental and see what works as opposed to trying to force success.”

Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” which follows the surprising success of “Guardians of the Galaxy” — the year’s highest grossing domestic film — hits theaters on May 5, 2017.

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