In 2000, Gunn went big and decided to write and star in his own superhero film. Called The Specials, it wasn't just some super low-budget feature between friends; it also starred Jamie Kennedy, Thomas Haden Church, and Rob Lowe. But before a shot was ever filmed, the script changed Gunn's life.
Gunn's brother Sean was an actor living in Los Angeles and got the script for The Specials to Jamie Kennedy, who loved it and sent it around to studios. Within two months Gunn had a deal to write a pilot for Fox and the WB, and Jay Roach (director of Austin Powers) hired him to write Spy vs. Spy—all just mere months after he'd been working for peanuts at Troma.
Unfortunately, the making of The Specials was less wonderful. Gunn's blunt tactics from Troma films didn't translate well on the set of a bigger-budget production, and he found himself constantly fighting to get his vision across. In the end, the film was distributed poorly and seen by pretty much no one, but Gunn learned some valuable lessons about how to work on a Hollywood set without hating everyone along the way.