James Gunn is celebrating the 14th anniversary of Slither. The movie came out in 2006 and was Gunn’s directorial debut. While it was not a hit at the box office, the horror movie has gained a cult following over the years and it’s what launched the director’s career, ultimately making him one of the biggest names in the entertainment business. Less than a decade later he joined forces with Marvel Studios and launched Guardians of the Galaxy. The quirky characters were pretty much unknown outside of Marvel Comics readers and now everybody knows who they are, thanks to Gunn’s writing and directorial work.
2006 was a different time for James Gunn. He had a number of writing credits under his belt, including the 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo movie, its sequel, and 2004’s Dawn of the Dead, but he had yet to step behind the camera. That all changed when he wrote Slither. To mark the 14th anniversary of the movie, Gunn shared some behind-the-scenes images from the movie and had this to say.
“14 years ago today my directorial debut Slither opened. It was not a hit (to say the least), but because of the great reviews & that so many of you folks loved it, it was the start of a great career for me. Just as importantly, I met many wonderful people making the film, who have remained close friends to this day. Here are some photos from that time – including some never-before-seen.”
Slither was a box office bomb when it opened in theaters, despite earning favorable reviews from critics and horror fans. Starring Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Tania Saulnier, Gregg Henry, and Michael Rooker, the horror movie depicts a small town in South Carolina that becomes invaded by an alien parasite. As James Gunn noted, he made a lot of friends while making the movie.
Elizabeth Banks, Nathan Fillion, Gregg Henry and Michael Rooker have all worked with James Gunn after working on Slither. Rooker is a long-time friend and the butt of some of Gunn’s jokes on social media, including one recent post about toilet paper. Rooker portrays Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy. Henry also had a part in Guardians as Peter Quill’s grandfather, while Banks reunited with Gunn on 2019’s Brightburn.
James Gunn is currently working on The Suicide Squad, which is in the post-production phase. The director lucked out and finished principal photography before the entertainment industry largely shut down. This has left Gunn some time to reflect on his career, which all started with Slither in 2006. There’s not many people who would have guessed that he’d be one of the most in-demand directors around less than a decade later, but Gunn has gone on to carve out quite the successful career, while still going back to his horror roots when the time allows. You can check out the behind-the-scenes Slither images below, thanks to James Gunn’s Instagram account.