Did James Gunn Just Subtly Diss Tom Cruise?

Did James Gunn Just Subtly Diss Tom Cruise?
Image credit: Legion-Media

Or, in fact, maybe he did so not very subtly.

Recently James Gunn gave an interview to Empire Magazine, primarily concerned with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and the character of Adam Warlock, who is going to appear in it, and in that interview he chose some really unfortunate words, when explaining why Will Poulter got the role of Adam Warlock.

"People online were saying, 'Oh, Tom Cruise should be Adam Warlock,'" Gunn said in that interview. "I wanted somebody who was youthful, and I wanted the person who had the dramatic chops and the comedic chops, not only for this movie but for what Marvel will use Adam Warlock for in the future. He could become this really important character."

Well, Will Poulter is a decent, if not especially famous, actor, praised for his comedic roles. He might be a decent fit. But did Gunn just imply that Tom Cruise lacks either dramatic or comedic chops for the role?

Sure, Cruise's age is a valid argument, the man is sixty and no amount of keeping yourself in shape can allow you to pass as someone young when you are sixty. However, few men had an acting career as illustrious as that of Tom Cruise.

While among the masses Cruise is somewhat stereotyped as an action star, thanks to the sheer popularity of his movies like Top Gun and Mission: Impossible, his filmography is massive and diverse.

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Over the four decades of his career, he worked with directors like Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma, Ridley Scott and Oliver Stone. He played both very serious dramatic roles, like Frank T.J. Mackey in Magnolia, or Ron Kovic in Born on the Fourth of July, and comic roles in action comedy, such as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder.

Sure, they are not as familiar to the public, but isn't James Gunn, being a film director, supposed to have deeper knowledge of the industry, its products, and people involved, than the lowest-common-denominator film-viewer?

All in all, at best his phrase came out as an unintended insult, and at worst it says a lot of negative things about James Gunn himself.