James Gunn's 4 Brothers: All About Sean, Matt, Brian and Patrick

James Gunn and his four brothers all work in Hollywood

<p>Charley Gallay/Getty</p> Sean Gunn and James Gunn in April 2023

Charley Gallay/Getty

Sean Gunn and James Gunn in April 2023

James Gunn is best known for spearheading the DC Extended Universe and for his popular films like Guardians of the Galaxy. But James isn’t the only successful member of his family: He has four brothers — Brian, Matt, Sean and Patrick — who all work in the entertainment industry.

The five Gunn brothers were born in St. Louis. James is the oldest, born in 1966. He was followed by Brian, Matt, Sean and Patrick.

The brothers began making home movies together when they were just kids. James told St. Louis Magazine that watching films like Friday the 13th had a big impact on him as a kid — but not for the reasons one might think. “Wow, this is not something that’s completely outside of my reach,” he recalled thinking as a kid. “You could go into the woods with a bunch of friends and shoot a movie where a slasher is coming and killing all of us without much special effects or money.”

From then on the brothers continuously worked on entertainment projects — sometimes collaborating together and other times doing their own thing. Their bond has remained strong throughout the years, and they’re all supportive of each other.

So, who are the other Gunn brothers? From an Emmy-nominated television writer to a Gilmore Girls star and more, here’s everything to know about James Gunn's brothers Brian, Matt, Sean and Patrick Gunn.

The Gunn brothers used to make monster movies as kids

<p>James Gunn Instagram</p> James Gunn with his father and his siblings

James Gunn Instagram

James Gunn with his father and his siblings

The brothers began dabbling in film at an early age. When James was 12 he recruited his brothers to make a homemade zombie movie that was filled with lots of blood and guts. “We would use tissue paper and Karo syrup and red food-coloring dye,” he told St. Louis Magazine. “That’s how you made gore.”

In a 2019 Los Angeles Times interview, Brian also remembered making home movies with his brothers. “I can remember when I was a little kid, James getting out the old Super 8 camera and filming us in zombie makeup with fake blood and fake entrails coming out of our guts,” he told the publication. “We were, in a sense, making horror movies together back from the time I can barely remember.”

They all work in Hollywood

<p>Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty</p> James Gunn and Sean Gunn in 2022

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

James Gunn and Sean Gunn in 2022

James’ most well-known brother is Sean, who has been an actor for almost 30 years. He first gained fame after starring as Kirk Gleason in Gilmore Girls, but these days he’s best known for starring as Kraglin in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Brian is also a notable figure in the industry and often works on screenplays with his cousin Mark. The duo wrote Bring It On Again (2004), Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) and the horror superhero movie Brightburn (2019). Brian’s next project will be working as a writer for the Starsky & Hutch reboot series. Their brother Matt is also a writer who works in television. From 2006 to 2022, he wrote for Real Time with Bill Maher.

Patrick mainly works behind the scenes and used to be the executive vice president of Artisan Entertainment. He worked heavily on the 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 and 2006’s The Punisher. Now he works for Qualia Capital, a media investment firm.

James often collaborates with his brothers

<p>James Gunn Instagram</p> James Gunn on a Zoom call with friends and family in 2020

James Gunn Instagram

James Gunn on a Zoom call with friends and family in 2020

Throughout their careers, the Gunn brothers often collaborate together on projects. Their first major project was the cult horror comedy Tromeo and Juliet. James helped co-write the script and Sean starred in the movie.

To this day, Sean often works with James, who has directed him in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise as well as 2021’s The Suicide Squad. The brothers will team up again in 2025 for James’ reboot of Superman.

“I’m always eager to work with my brother on whatever projects come up,” Sean said in a 2023 interview with io9. “When he calls, ‘Hey, I’m doing this thing’, we try to work together when we can.” Sean also said that sometimes the job fits and sometimes it doesn’t, but he concluded by saying, “I know he and I will never stop working together, but I kinda don’t know how much there will be, it’s always hard to tell.”

Brian developed his love of movies with his cousin Mark

<p>James Gunn Instagram</p> James Gunn and his brothers with Hugh Hefner in 1998

James Gunn Instagram

James Gunn and his brothers with Hugh Hefner in 1998

Brian and Mark grew up together and went to the same high school where they did theater together. The two even ended up going to the same college. Mark told Steve Cuden on the Storybeat podcast that college was where the duo really fostered their love of film. “Brian and I had a rule in college,” Mark said, “that if one of us had a copy of a movie that neither of us had ever seen, and we brought it to the other one’s dorm room, no matter what time of day or night, we had to watch it.”

After college, the two moved to L.A. to enter the entertainment industry without any formal writing experience. “The craft of writing was something we sort of learned by doing together,” Mark said on the podcast.

Their first big break was writing the MTV television movie 2gether in 2000, which received a spinoff TV series later that year.

Matt has been nominated for nine Writers Guild of America Awards and five Emmys

<p>James Gunn Instagram</p> James Gunn and Matt Gunn.

James Gunn Instagram

James Gunn and Matt Gunn.

For 16 years, Matt was a writer for Real Time with Bill Maher and during that time he received nine Writers Guild of America Award nominations, the most recent being in 2018. In 2015, both he and James were nominated for Writers Guild Awards in different categories.

“So today I woke up to discover I was nominated, along with Nicole Perlman, for a Writer's Guild Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Guardians of the Galaxy,” James wrote on Facebook that year. “It's also worth noting my brother Matt Gunn was nominated for a WGA Award (his eighth nomination) for his work on Real Time with Bill Maher. I wonder when the last time two brothers were nominated for different works.”

The following year Real Time was nominated again and won the award for best comedy/variety series, earning Matt his first win. His writing on Real Time has also earned Matt five Emmy nominations.

James often gives birthday shout-outs to his brothers on Instagram

<p>James Gunn Instagram </p> James Gunn and Brian Gunn.

James Gunn Instagram

James Gunn and Brian Gunn.

The Gunns' brotherly bond remains strong and James often shares birthday messages to his brothers on social media. In 2023 he posted a reel on Instagram of Sean dancing while dressed up in his Guardians of the Galaxy costume. Along with the video, Gunn wrote, “Happy Birthday @thejudgegunn. You’re a good brother and I love making stuff with you.”

In 2019, James also posted a birthday message to Brian, sharing pictures of them throughout the years and writing, “Happy Birthday to sometimes my creative partner but always my friend and always my brother, @briandgunn. I love you, Bri-Bri!”

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