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SYFY WIRE The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

James Gunn wraps first draft of Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special; reveals it's set before Vol. 3

By Josh Weiss

Filmmaker James Gunn decked the halls of Twitter Thursday with the title page for his upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. "This is the wrapping," he wrote in the tweet's caption. "The present is inside." Absolutely nothing is known about the plot, especially since the script isn't even complete yet.

The first draft — merrily signed by James "Long Elf" Gunn, of course — is stamped with today's date (Thursday, April 22), though the writer-director did share in the comments that he wrote a treatment "years ago." When asked about where the story takes place within the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Gunn was able to confirm that the streaming event is set after Thor: Love and Thunder, which is now filming in Australia, and before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is slated to film later this year. In any case, the two movies are connected by Chris Pratt's Star-Lord.

While Kevin Feige's probably gotta take a look at the holly-jolly script and provide Gunn with notes first, the special does have a Disney+ premiere window of 2022's holiday season. That's more than Guardians Vol. 3 has, anyway, but we wouldn't be surprised if both projects are filmed concurrently on the same sets. It makes the most logical sense if you have the A-list cast members (e.g., Pratt, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, etc.) all in one place.

Like we said above, plot details are still floating out in the cosmos somewhere, and Gunn isn't giving anything up — aside from the general timeline and a clarification that the finished product will be "a television special, not a movie." Still, there's nothing wrong with a little light speculation, particularly when the filmmaker admits his childhood love for the much-maligned Star Wars Holiday Special. Will the Guardians' yuletide adventure pay homage to the galaxy far, far away's infamous festive blunder by bringing in Groot's family members for a kind of birthday celebration? One can only hope.

Mark Hamill quoted Gunn's original tweet with a famous Star Wars quote: "I have a bad feeling about this..." The director replied with: "These things ALWAYS go well." Hamill shot back with Vader classic: "I hope you don't find my lack of faith...disturbing." Gunn closed the loop with: "So strange you’ve got a holiday special phobia is all. I wouldn’t have a clue as to why."

Before he returns to the MCU, however, Gunn needs to gift wrap his DCEU tenure in the form of The Suicide Squad (out Aug. 6) and a spinoff TV show about John Cena's Peacemaker. Production is currently underway in Canada, with a cut of the first episode already in the bag. "People are not prepared for this behemoth," Gunn wrote.