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SYFY WIRE The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Chris Pratt hypes ‘mad genius’ James Gunn in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Holiday Special first look

“It’s a fantastic story vomited from the brain of a mad genius!”

By Benjamin Bullard
Marvel Studios’ Special Presentation: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

He may be ascending to the highest heights of DC’s screen empire, but the way Marvel is hyping James Gunn these days, you’d probably never know it. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, Chris Pratt, and the rest of the MCU’s favorite assembly of goofballs are hyping Gunn’s crazy comedic creativity all the way to the North Pole and back in a merry new teaser for the upcoming The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

Swapping Gunn for the jolly old elf himself as the star of the MCU’s own take on “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (better known as “The Night Before Christmas”), the brief behind-the-scenes clip celebrates Gunn’s original madcap idea for the gang's small-screen adventure, struck all the way back in the days of 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Check it out:

Mantis, Drax, and a visibly freaked-out Kevin Bacon…what could possibly go wrong — right? As Marvel’s earlier Holiday Special trailer already teased, the big idea is for the Guardians to snap Pratt’s Star-Lord (aka Peter Quill) out of his sadly sagging Christmas spirit…and what better way to accomplish the feat than by stopping by Earth for a face-to-face meet-up with Quill’s favorite Footloose movie star?

Gunn, of course, has his creative claws deeply dug in at DC, having been christened last month as the new co-leader (alongside producer Peter Safran) of the freshly-minted Warner Bros. Discovery screen division known as DC Studios. That effectively puts The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker mastermind on a competitive eye-to-eye level with Feige himself — but that’s not stopping Marvel’s top creative sensei from crooning a carol or two in Gunn’s honor.

“It is the very first thing ever conceived from Marvel Studios for Disney+,” Feige explains while marveling (pun intended) at Gunn’s self-propelled passion to toss the Guardians in the thick of a ridiculous Christmas caper. “On the set of Volume 2, James Gunn said, ‘We should do a holiday special!’ We all had a laugh; we thought that would be great. And then he wrote it…in like, three days.”

“It’s a fantastic story vomited from the brain of a mad genius,” adds Pratt, making a not-so-bold prediction about how the Holiday Special will likely go down in Christmas history. “I think audiences are really gonna be excited, and it’s probably going to be played every year for the rest of our lives.”

If the Guardians are anything (well, aside from goofballs), they’re a big, hilariously dysfunctional comic book family. Gunn’s contribution to the clip taps the genuine camaraderie he’s enjoyed with the real-life gang who’s made the Guardians’ wacky world go ‘round over the years: “This has been a real joyful shoot,” he explains, “because I get to work with a lot of people I really love.”

Thankfully for fans, the Holiday Special isn’t the last we’ll see of Gunn in the MCU, even as he steps into his new Hall of Justice digs as DC’s top dog. The Gunn-directed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has a date with theaters on May 5 of next year, while The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is set to hit TV screens everywhere sooner than Santa can get the reindeer ready.

Catch Pratt as Star-Lord, along with Dave Bautista (Drax),  Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), Vin Diesel (Groot), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Sean Gunn (Kraglin), and Kevin Bacon as himself when the seasonal treat streams at Disney+ beginning Friday, Nov. 25.

Looking for more holiday fun? Check out an absolute treasure trove of Christmas and Hallmark holiday specials on Peacock.