James Gunn was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri in a large Irish Catholic family. His father and his uncles were all lawyers. He has been writing and performing as long as he can remember. He began making 8mm films at the age of 12. Many of these were comedic splatter films featuring his brothers being disemboweled by zombies. Gunn dropped out of college to pursue a rock and roll career. His band, “the Icons”, released one album, “Mom, We Like It Here on Earth”. He earned very little money doing this and so during this time, he also worked as an orderly in Tucson, Arizona, upon which many of the situations in his first novel, “The Toy Collector”, are based. He also wrote and drew comic strips for underground and college newspapers. Gunn eventually returned to school and received his B.A. at Saint Louis University. He immediately thereafter moved to New York where he received an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, which he today thinks may have been a wonderfully expensive waste of time. While finishing his MFA, Gunn started writing “The Toy Collector” and began working for “Troma Studios”, America’s leading B-Movie production company. While there he wrote and produced the cult classic Tromeo and Juliet (1996) and, with Lloyd Kaufman, he wrote the book, “All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger”. Gunn had a spiritual awakening in Cannes France in 1997. At that time, he quit Troma and moved from New York to Los Angeles. He wrote and acted in the film The Specials (2000) with Rob Lowe, Jamie Kennedy, Thomas J. Churchill and his brother Sean Gunn. He wrote two scripts for Warner Brothers live action movies: Spy vs. Spy (1985) and Scooby-Doo (2002). In 1999, after almost five years, he finished “The Toy Collector”. Gunn has four brothers, all of whom are in the entertainment industry. His brother, Patrick Gunn, is a Senior VP at Artisan Entertainment, the company responsible for distributing (and the marketing campaign of) The Blair Witch Project (1999). His brother, Brian Gunn, is a screenwriter who works in partnership with their cousin Mark Gunn. Brian and Mark wrote the MTV-TV movie 2gether, and are executive producers on the upcoming television series of the same name. Gunn’s brother, Matt Gunn wrote and starred in the winner of the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, Man About Town, Gunn’s brother, Sean Gunn is an actor regularly seen in films, commercials, and such TV shows as Angel (1999). Gunn and Sean have collaborated on two occasions Sean starred in Tromeo and Juliet (1996), and they acted together and co-produced The Specials (2000). He has one sister, Beth, who is a lawyer. Gunn married the actress and cartoonist Jenna Fischer in 2000. They were divorced in 2008.
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi