Guardians Holiday Special: James Gunn On Which Heroes Will Actually Appear In The Disney+ Film

Chris Pratt in footage from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
(Image credit: Marvel)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the home of countless properties, but a few stand out as fan favorites. Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely in that category, with the motley crew of unknown superheroes quickly stealing audiences' hearts. Fans can’t wait to catch up with the cosmic characters in the Guardians Holiday Special, which James Gunn has claimed is the “greatest” thing he’s ever done. And the filmmaker recently addressed which characters will actually appear in the mysterious project.

There’s a trio of new Guardians projects arriving over the next few years, to the delight of fans. After they appear (to an unknown degree) in the upcoming Marvel movie Thor: Love and Thunder, the Guardians Holiday Special will arrive on Disney+, which will lead directly into Vol. 3. A fan-made poster for the special recently circulated online, leading James Gunn to clarify on Twitter that we shouldn’t expect the full cast to appear in the mysterious short film. As he put it,

The above is not an official image, it’s fan-made. Not all of those characters are even in the Holiday special. It takes place between Thor 4 & Vol 3.

Well, there you have it. It doesn't look like the full team will be assembled for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. While James Gunn didn't share which cosmic heroes will be around for the mysterious streaming project, the rabid fanbase should probably temper their expectations. I know I’ll be happy with any and all Guardians content.

James Gunn clarified some details about the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special over on his personal Twitter account. The acclaimed filmmaker is super active on social media, often fielding queries from the fans during informal Q&As. That sometimes includes shutting down rumors, as he did with the unofficial fan art that was circulating around online for the Disney+ special.

Aside from addressing which Guardians of the Galaxy will appear in the already-filmed streaming project, James Gunn continued to answer some more questions about the mysterious contents of the Holiday Special. He dropped a few more details about it, saying:

It’s a TV Special (not a feature length film) on Disney+. It’s part of MCU canon, & contains some important new elements in the Guardians’ story.

Well, color me intrigued. It looks like the Guardians Holiday Special will be unlike any other installment in the MCU. And considering how long the shared universe has been occupying our screens, that’s really saying something. Bring on the cosmic yuletide!

As previously mentioned, the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is expected to set up some events for the upcoming movie threequel. Guardians 3 is expected to end the story of the current team as we know it, with actors like Karen Gillan and Dave Buatista already potentially saying goodbye to their signature characters

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is currently expected to arrive in theaters on May 5th, 2023, while the holiday special should arrive this coming December. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.