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James Gunn Reveals When GOTG Holiday Special Will Be Set In MCU Timeline

James Gunn, the writer/director of the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, outlines where the film fits within the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline.

The Guardians will appear with Chris Hemsworth's eponymous superhero in Thor: Love and Thunder, which will be released on July 8, before the Christmas special or their third standalone picture. The Phase Four film picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame, in which Thor and the Guardians boarded the Bentar. Many of the major Guardians characters, including Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldaa as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Karen Gillan as Nebula, and Pom Klementieff as Mantis, will return in the Christmas special. Fans have speculated about the holiday-themed special's overall role in the MCU due to the lack of narrative specifics.

In response to a fan question on Twitter, James Gunn says that the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will not be a one-off, but will play a larger role in the MCU's overall narrative. The Christmas special, according to Gunn, takes place between Love and Thunder and Vol. 3 in the chronology and includes "new storylines and characters tied to the Guardians universe." Read the entire conversation below:

Gunn also shared a production update for both Guardians projects, saying that the holiday special has wrapped filming ahead of its debut on Disney+ during this Christmas season, and that Vol. 3 will conclude filming in about a week, with a May 5, 2023 release date. In addition, Gunn said that the Christmas special will have an all-new soundtrack, which has been an integral element of the Guardians flicks and would be presented as mixtapes recorded for Peter by his late mother.

Despite earlier speculation, this is the first formal confirmation from the Guardians director that the Christmas special will take place between Love & Thunder and Vol. 3. Gunn had stated that the Christmas special will introduce a new character, possibly Will Poulter's Adam Warlock, who would then be introduced in the Guardians' third and final feature. Given this information, there will very certainly be a few subtle aspects in Love & Thunder (on which Gunn advised) that serve to build up the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special to come.

Source: James Gunn

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