Director James Gunn Refutes Fake Instagram Post Fueling ‘Guardians’ Coverage

Claim

Director James Gunn has "had some discussions" regarding the inclusion of the characters Galactus and the Silver Surfer in his upcoming film "Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3."

Rating

Not True

Reporting

In a microcosm of the problem with aggregation-based reporting, film director James Gunn went online to refute a story circulating about him that relied on a falsified photograph of one of his social media accounts.

On February 1 2020, the pop-culture site Comicbook.com reported that Gunn had “teased” the inclusion of two long-running comic-book characters, Galactus and the Silver Surfer, in his upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

The site’s source was an Instagram post it said originated from Gunn’s account before being deleted; it purportedly showed Gunn saying, “I’ve had some discussions” when asked about using the two characters, whose film rights were previously owned by 20th Century Fox prior to that studio being acquired by Disney (the parent company for Marvel Entertainment), which has produced Gunn’s Guardians film series. As so often happens, other entertainment sites then picked up Comicbook’s account and reported it while citing the site as their own solitary source.

But Gunn debunked the story himself on both Twitter and Instagram.

“I did neither (nor did I ever have those conversations with Marvel). I don’t know who started it but it’s 100% a forgery,” he wrote. “Sorry to disappoint.”

Comicbook.com later updated its story and headline to reflect Gunn’s statement. But other sites who carried the initial story only barely updated their copy while continuing to display their original, false headline.

We contacted Comicbook.com seeking comment on the story but did not hear back prior to publication.