James Gunn may not be the first director to cross the fan-drawn battle-lines between Marvel and DC comic properties – Avengers and Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon recently crossed over to complete Zack Snyder’s ambitious DC team-up Justice League – but he may turn out to be the most successful, as Whedon’s additions to the aforementioned pic were criticized for contradicting Snyder’s tone and vision.
After directing two installments in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Gunn was ostensibly fired by Marvel Studios in response to controversial decade-old Tweets that were excavated by what Sp¡ked called “right-wing snowflakes.” The director was subsequently hired by DC Films to create a standalone sequel to David Ayer’s 2016 villain team-up Suicide Squad, to be titled The Suicide Squad (“The definite article, you might say”), but Gunn’s gracious, humble handling of the situation led to him eventually being rehired by Marvel to complete the eventual third installment of his Guardians trilogy.
Having worked on both sides of this particular aisle, Gunn now finds himself in a unique position of directly handling the characters of both universes, which prompted a fan recently to ask:
If you could choose one character from Guardians of the Galaxy and one character from The Suicide Squad to meet each other. Who would those two characters be?
— Rishi Bhakta (@rishi_bhakta) February 8, 2020
Given his less-than-conventional tendencies, Gunn opted for an unlikely pairing:
I’ve discussed this extensively with @MargotRobbie and I think Harley and Groot would have fabulous adventures together. And there are other great combos I’d bring up… if we at #TheSuicideSquad weren’t keeping things under wraps… ? https://t.co/rpwssUK85w
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 8, 2020
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Groot is a member of the Flora colossi from the planet Taluhnia, while Harley is a member of the Feminam psychotici from Earth, and we can only imagine (and presumably Gunn and Robbie already have) just what kind of “fabulous adventures” those two characters might wind up in. But perhaps they’re not so mismatched as they might initially seem, with Harley’s rambunctiously talkative personality potentially complementing Groot’s strong, verbally-limited type, and both of them sharing a distinct disrespect for authority.
Groot might at first be put off by Harley’s weaponized use of a wooden baseball bat, but he has also been known to lend his limbs to those he trusts, having provided the material to make the handle of Stormbreaker for Thor in Avengers: Infinity War. Of course, Groot is already used to dealing with moderately-to-severely deranged personalities, having worked with the belligerent Rocket Raccoon, the vengeful Drax, the mercenary Gamora, the destructive Nebula, and the juvenile Peter Quill. In fact, he has, in many ways, served as a member of a suicide squad all his own, having sacrificed himself to protect his team in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
In any case, as the fans continue to dream of such a team-up, The Suicide Squad is currently on course to debut on August 6th, 2021. Harley, meanwhile, currently appears in Birds of Prey, in theaters now, while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 still has no official release date.
When Harley Met Groot, on the other hand, will never, ever premiere.