James Gunn was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri in a large Irish Catholic family. His father and his uncles were all lawyers. Gunn has been writing and performing as long as he can remember. He began making eight-millimeter films at the age of twelve. 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, but got a lot of free sex. 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 forthcoming 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) (VG) 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). Gunn has one sister, Beth. She is an attorney, and has had to put up with a lot of shit. Gunn is engaged to be married to the actress and cartoonist Jenna Fischer. Almost everyone agrees that they are very strange, both individually and as a couple. Gunn has a dog named Aubrey. "Aubrey" means "Ruler of the Elves" in Gaelic. She is a spiky-haired Havanese. He finds her endlessly amusing.
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