Fans immediately questioned if his return to Marvel Studios meant that he wouldn't be allowed to play in the DC Extended Universe and he'd need to drop out. All fears were allayed when producer Peter Safran confirmed that Gunn is doing both films.
"Everybody knows on both sides that Suicide Squad is the priority today and he'll finish that movie and then everybody knows that his next film will be Guardians," he said. "It's the best of all possible both worlds, I think, for fans and for James Gunn himself."
The thing is, this shouldn't have ever been a concern in the first place. Directors work with multiple studios and franchises all the time. The only point when it becomes an issue is if there are scheduling conflicts, then it becomes about honoring contractual obligations or working out a deal. Otherwise, there's generally no problem, as it's all business at the end of the day -- much like in any other industry.
Again, this proves that the whole Marvel versus DC conflict is solely manufactured by fans. While it's perfectly acceptable to stan one franchise over the other, it's counterintuitive to think everyone else is as rabid about cape affairs, and that they're subscribes to some warped Comic Book Cold War. In fact, there's a large portion of the population that just enjoys the genre as a whole and doesn't care which studio produces the pictures.
Mind you, the studios aren't propagating any discord here, either. When confronted by journalists about what their competitors are doing, executives are usually more than generous with their praise and mention of how it's good for the industry overall. Of course, there will be some natural competition over who comes out on top, but they understand that if the genre tanks, they all fail.
Like any person who goes to work on a day-to-day basis, these filmmakers, actors and studio execs are trying to make a living for themselves and their families. Naturally, they might have personal preferences over which media they consume and enjoy, but there's definitely no rule stating they can't work for Marvel and DC.
Heck, look at Djimon Hounsou as a prime example. He portrayed The Fisherman King in Aquaman, then Korath in Captain Marvel and is set to play the ancient wizard Shazam in Shazam! next month. If there really was a stringent Marvel-DC divide, do you think he'd be able to portray three different characters in less than five months?
Unfortunately, actors often cannot avoid getting caught up in the whole debacle. Fanboy wars transpire when there are two opposing films being released within a short time of each other, and civil discussion makes way for troglodyte expression. Embarrassingly, the actors have to step in to douse the flames.
Recently, Zachary Levi called out the trolls and asked them to stop pitting Shazam! against Captain Marvel. He isn't the first actor to call for common sense, nor will he be the last, as most fanboys tend to forget these are real people portraying fictional characters on screen.
As much as they likely appreciate the passionate support, it also does scare off many actors from the genre, as it's just too much. Who could ever forget Ben Affleck's infamous rant about how no one cared about Live by Night at the press junkets after interviewers kept asking about The Batman instead?
This ongoing Marvel versus DC war is silly. The worst thing that can happen to any industry is monopolization, since it benefits no one and only allows for complacency. The more competition, the merrier, as it forces studios to up their game. It's a fantastic time to be a comic book and movie fan, with so much to look forward to, hence the pointlessness of this fan divide.
Perhaps Gunn's involvement in both The Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will finally convince the fanboys to drop this ridiculous feud and embrace the genre as a whole.