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James Gunn Explains Why The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special Is The ‘Greatest Thing’ He’s Ever Done

Gamora Star Lord and Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Over the last year, comic book media fans have been firmly entrenched with James Gunn work over at DC. The Suicide Squad was released last summer, and Peacemaker aired its first season on HBO Max earlier this year, with Season 2 being ordered right before the Season 1 finale was released. However, in recent months, Gunn has been busy shooting not just Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special too. The latter project will be released to people with a Disney+ subscription towards the end of 2022, and Gunn is going so far as to claim it is the “greatest thing” he’s done in his life.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was announced back in December 2020, and filming on the Disney+ original officially kicked off in February, just three months after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 began principal photography. While speaking with Radio Times, James Gunn said the following about why the Holiday Special will be such a memorable project:

It’s totally ridiculous, and every day we can’t believe that we’re making it. We all completely love it. It is unlike anything that anyone’s ever seen before. I can’t wait for people to see it. And it’s out pretty soon. You know, it’s out this Christmas. It’s not like people have to wait that long.

It’s good to hear that James Gunn has such high hopes for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, especially since this is a such different kind of MCU outing. After 14 years of movies in this franchise and over a year of getting different types of shows (as well as that period where One-Shot short films were being released), this will be the MCU’s first “special.” That said, Gunn wrote the Holiday Special treatment years before Marvel Studios officially ordered it, so clearly this is a passion project even by his standards. It’s not the only MCU “special” coming to Disney+ either, as there’s a Halloween special in the works starring Gael García Bernal that’s reportedly about Werewolf by Night. 

Because The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is set to come out sometime in December, this will be the first standalone Guardians-centric project in the MCU since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was released in May 2017. The team has popped up since then in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, and will return in Thor: Love and Thunder this July, but it’ll be nice to see Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Nebula and Mantis back in a story focused firmly on them rather than as ensemble or supporting players. No plot details for the Holiday Special have been revealed yet, but it will be set between Love and Thunder and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Speaking of the threequel, it will feature the debut of Will Poulter as Adam Warlock, who was teased on one of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s end-credits scenes. Chukwudi Iwuji, who played Clemson Murn in Peacemaker, will appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as a character he’s described as “extremely powerful” and “complex.” Sylvester Stallone is also on deck to reprise Stakar Ogord, the late Yondu’s old Ravager cohort who was introduced in Vol. 2

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special doesn’t have a specific December release date set, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will arrive on May 5, 2023. As always, CinemaBlend will continue passing along any major news concerning upcoming Marvel movies and TV shows.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.