Like most kids growing up during the horror movie boom of the ’70s and ’80s, a young Gunn got his first steps in film shooting 8mm horror movies with his friends. As he explained in a 2011 interview with St. Louis Magazine, horror gave him the confidence to even try making movies in the first place:
“Weirdly, the two movies that affected me, and maybe not in the way most people would think, were ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and ‘Friday the 13th.’ Both were made on an extremely low budget. I watched those movies and thought, ‘Wow, this is not something that’s completely out of my league.
After graduating from college in his hometown of St. Louis and then earning an MFA from New York City’s Columbia University, Gunn found himself working for Queens-based Troma Entertainment in mid-1980. The 1990s. His first produced script was for 1996’s “Tromeo and Juliet,” which was directed by Troma founder and guru Lloyd Kaufman. After being mentored by Kaufman for the next few years, Gunn found success as a screenwriter in Hollywood penning the scripts for “The Specials” (about a team of superhero misfits) and “Scooby-Doo.”
After penning the script for Zack Snyder’s remake of George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead,” Gunn was able to get his first film as a writer/director off the ground: 2006’s “Slither,” an unapologetic horror film about a plethora of slimy, vicious (and slimy) alien creatures invading a small town via the bodies of its citizens.
Despite moving on to films like “Super,” “The Suicide Squad” and the “Guardians” films, Gunn has held on to his horror roots, writing the screenplay for 2016’s “The Belko Experiment” and producing What-if. -Superman-was from 2019. -Evil thriller, “Brightburn”.