Guardians Of The Galaxy's James Gunn Is Hyping Up A New MCU Character For The Holiday Special, And I'm Intrigued

The Guardians of the Galaxy stand together
(Image credit: Disney)

James Gunn is definitely one of the busiest directors in Hollywood at the moment. This past summer, the quirky filmmaker released his hilarious and gory DC masterpiece, The Suicide Squad, and he’s currently in pre-production on the long-awaited Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. And if that weren’t enough, Gunn is also producing a Holiday Special centered on his band of cosmic adventurers. The director has been very secretive about the Disney+ special and has only shared small details here and there. But now, he’s teasing that it’ll introduce a new character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I’m intrigued.

The Guardians of the Galaxy director has been known to converse with his fans on social media from time to time, which includes answering the occasional question. It’s through his Twitter presence that fans know James Gunn is a massive fan of The Star Wars Holiday Special, which introduced Boba Fett. So one fan astutely asked Gunn if he has plans to introduce a new character in the Guardians holiday extravaganza, to which the filmmaker gave an exciting response:

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“One of the greatest MCU characters of all time” is certainly high praise to bestow upon someone. In his first two Guardians of the Galaxy films, the director introduced a wide assortment of unconventional characters that appeared in the pages of Marvel comic books. The original 2014 movie brought Cosmo the Spacedog and Howard the Duck to the MCU, while the 2017 sequel ushered in the likes of Ego the Living Planet and Starhawk. So it’s no surprise that he’s looking to do the same in this yuletide tale. 

Though with such an unpredictable slate of past character introductions, it’s honestly hard to say who James Gunn is specifically referring to in this case. My first assumption is that said being is a cosmic character like Quasar or Nova, but such massive characters would be reserved for feature films. Gunn’s choice will likely be a bit out there, but he could end up choosing one that would be both unexpected and obvious for this particular story. 

This may sound crazy, but I think Gunn is just funny and bold enough to do it. What if he were to actually introduce Santa Clause to the MCU? I know it sounds weird, but Santa is actually a character that has appeared in numerous comics over the years. In the Marvel Universe, the jolly toy maker is a very powerful being, who’s had run-ins with famous superheroes like Spider-Man and the X-Men. By this point, you’re probably laughing off the idea, but I wouldn’t totally dismiss it. 

What we do know for sure about The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is that it’s set to take place before the events of Vol. 3. And according to James Gunn, fans may want to watch it in order to prepare themselves for the team’s third big-screen installment. It’s probably fitting that Gunn will first give audiences a project with some Christmas cheer, because it sounds like the 2023 film is going to be emotionally heavy

I’m excited to see who James Gunn brings into the fray for the upcoming special and, given his track record, I have faith in his ultimate decision. And of course, it’ll be interesting to see if said figure ends up being a permanent fixture in the MCU moving forward. 

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is set to premiere on Disney+ sometime in late 2022.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.