Screenwriter Max Landis and writer/director James Gunn got into it over the weekend in Vegas, and instead of using fists, they used words. The topic of their tiff?
Take the following with a tonal grain of salt as video of the incident hasn’t surfaced online, so it’s hard to tell exactly to what extent their exchange got “heated”…
The setting: Las Vegas, Hard Rock Hotel.
The event: MorrisonCon 2012 (convention celebrating and starring superstar comic book writer Grant Morrison).
The panel: “Celluloid Heroes.”
The argument: What constitutes being an on-screen superhero?
Max Landis – writer of Chronicle – felt that audiences mistook his movie as a superhero movie, when really it’s more in line with a thriller like Carrie.
James Gunn – writer/director of Super and the upcoming Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy – heartily disagreed with Landis, and they proceeded to chuck their opposing views at one another.
Here are some choice transcript selections –
“I think of superheroes as capes! When ‘Chronicle’ came out, they were like, ‘It’s a superhero story.’ It’s only a superhero story because that’s what’s coming out now! If it came out in 1996, they’d call it a sci-fi thriller!”
“[Chronicle is] One of the best superhero movies of all time. Come on! They’re superheroes, they have superpowers!”
“Matt is an immature goofball who is forced into a position of responsibility. At the end of ‘Taxi Driver,’ is Travis Bickle a fucking superhero?”
“He doesn’t have superpowers!”
“He certainly gets shot a lot!”
“If it’s [Chronicle] born from superheroes and a tribute to your love for them, then I think that it is [a superhero movie] and you shouldn’t get offended.”
“To me, a superhero is someone who goes through an experience in their life that then causes them to create an alias for themselves…and then acts altruistically and puts other people ahead of themselves.”
“You can’t diminish that other people have other definitions of the word superhero! Why are you booing an entire community of people calling it a superhero?”
“James, you hugely misunderstand!”
“What are some other topics we have tonight?”
Sounds like your typical geek gabbin’ taken to the extreme, wherein one side is just as passionate as the other on a topic that’s purely subjective and has no actual bearing on the real world.
The result? A pop culture impasse between two Hollywood headstrongs.
Such is the nature of geekdom.