Timeline: James Gunn’s long and winding road from Troma to the top of DC Studios
1. In 2007, a former Disney employee named Dave Hilberman suggested to his now-company-mate James Gunn — who, like Hilberman, was a fan of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” — they should do a comedy. Hilberman’s idea was an adaptation of the popular series “The Big Bang Theory”, and when Hilberman called the project “Project X,” Gunn suggested it should be called the “Saw” franchise. The team pitched it to Sony Pictures, who passed on it. “The Saw” had already been made and was a hit.
2. Hilberman left Sony and started an ad agency, and when Hilberman approached Gunn for Project X, he was drawn to the idea of adapting the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” into a series.
3. Hilberman was an executive producer on “Saw” at Sony and has since contributed to several other projects with Gunn. Now, when he has something he wants to do, he’ll ask Gunn for advice. Gunn was the one who suggested the “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” sequel.
4. In 2010, when Sony asked Hilberman to start a new company, the idea was to make “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” a movie trilogy. This was his chance to make a sequel, but Hilberman and Gunn disagreed on the script. They talked until early November during a trip to Los Angeles, and when they met again at Sony in October, they had a new script.
5. Hilberman wanted to make it a series because he saw making a movie as harder than making episodic television episodes. But he also thought the studio was too conservative, and the first movie was released in May of 2011, and it was a huge success. While the second movie was released in the summer and the third movie opened in October, the second and third movies had lackluster box office numbers; they made less than