The recent book release, MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, reveals a screenwriting credit battle between James Gunn and co-writer Nicole Perlman for Guardians of the Galaxy. Gunn excluded Perlman’s name from the movie’s credits, despite her penning the original storyline. Perlman celebrated her hard-won credit on the film with a “F*ck James Gunn” party, highlighting the bitterness of the credit arbitration. Screenwriter Zack Stentz praised Perlman and criticized Gunn for allegedly undermining her contribution to the movie. Perlman has shown grace amidst the controversy, crediting everyone involved in making the movie beautiful. Gunn has remained silent on the allegations.

The vast and expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe often appears as a harmonious machine on the surface, producing blockbuster after blockbuster. Yet, beneath this polished exterior, turbulent waters sometimes brew, particularly in the realm of screenwriting. A recent revelation surrounding one of MCU’s gems, Guardians of the Galaxy, sheds light on a screenwriting credit battle that fans may find surprising.

The recent book release, MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, has been making waves in the entertainment community. Penned by the trio of Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and Gavin Edwards, the book delves deep into the backstage stories of Marvel Studios. With intriguing anecdotes from messy past events to scrapped story arcs, it offers a fresh perspective on the familiar tales of the franchise.

One particularly eye-catching detail surrounds the creation of Guardians of the Galaxy. The book suggests a considerable tension between James Gunn, the director, and co-writer Nicole Perlman. Gunn, as claimed in the book (via Game Rant), was adamant about excluding Perlman’s name from the movie credits, hoping to secure the accolade of being the singular writer. This however was despite Perlman having penned the original storyline for the film—a narrative from which many elements, including the crucial backstory of Star-Lord (portrayed by Chris Pratt), were retained in the final release.

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The depth of this feud is further highlighted by the book’s reference to a party thrown by Perlman. Aptly named the “F*ck James Gunn” party, this gathering was Perlman’s way of celebrating her hard-won credit on the film. Such a declaration shows just how bitter the credit arbitration must have been. Zack Stentz, the screenwriter for Thor, weighed in on this controversy. He praised Perlman, stating,

“Nicole had to knife-fight for her credit on Guardians of the Galaxy. But she is probably the preeminent female action tent pole writer now because she was the first woman to have her name on not just a Marvel movie, but on a Marvel movie that people really love.”

Stentz also voiced his displeasure about Gunn’s alleged actions. According to him, Gunn seemed to discreetly funnel information to his close circle and certain media outlets, aiming to diminish Perlman’s contribution to the movie. He contrasted this with Matthew Vaughn’s open displeasure over screen credits on X-Men: First Class, which at least, in his view, was more transparent. Stentz stated,

“She threw a party when the movie came out literally called the ‘F*ck James Gunn’ party because she had won that very bruising credit arbitration. The thing that I’m still angry about, and I say this as a fan of James Gunn as a director, was that he very clearly was selectively leaking stuff to his friends and the fanboy media circles to undermine her credit. When Matthew Vaughnn decided to have a temper tantrum over the fact that we got screen credit [on X-Men: First Class], at least he did it under his own name.”

However, Perlman has shown grace amidst the storm. The book quotes her as saying she “credits everybody in the movie, including James, for making it so beautiful.” As of now, James Gunn has maintained silence over these allegations.

 Guardians Of The Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman celebrated her win over James Gunn with a not-so-subtle party.  Read More