As he gets ready to return to the music-loving world of Guardians of the Galaxy for the team’s third film outing, Kevin Feige revealed at Marvel’s Disney Investor Day presentation that James Gunn will also write and direct a holiday special with the titular group for Disney+ and slated for a 2022 debut! Gunn will craft the special during production on the highly-anticipated Vol. 3.
Even seeing this here makes me laugh. One of my favorite stories ever, which I have bugged @Kevfeige endlessly about over the years. I can’t believe we’re actually doing this. And, yes, I unironically loved the Star Wars Holiday Special as a kid. pic.twitter.com/JjymrARoV7
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) December 11, 2020
James Gunn, who wrote and directed the first two films, was originally set to return to direct the highly-anticipated third installment in the space-faring comic book franchise, but following resurfacing of controversial tweets from very early in his career, Disney cut ties with the 52-year-old director and production was delayed until the studio found an A-list filmmaker to replace him. After months of widespread support from fans and the entire cast of the films and f behind-the-scenes discussions between Disney and Gunn, he was reinstated to write and direct the third installment. The House of Mouse will allow Gunn the time to finish production on Warner Bros.’ The Suicide Squad, for which he signed on a few months after his firing.
The first Guardians of the Galaxy was the surprise hit of the second phase in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, grossing nearly $775 million at the box office and earning widespread critical acclaim for its abundance of humor, emotional story and Gunn’s direction, in addition to its soundtrack becoming the first album of its genre consisting of previously released songs to top the Billboard 200 chart and having sold over 2.5 million copies in 2014 alone. The second film hit theaters three years later and prove to be a near equal success to its predecessor, grossing over $800 million at the box office and earning more acclaim from critics and audiences who continued to praise the performances, direction, soundtrack and story while some criticized a feeling of familiarity in some of the film’s humor.
The space-traveling team was most recently seen in the box-office breaking Avengers: Endgame and are currently set to return to the big screen for their next solo outing in 2023, preceded by the Holiday Special in December 2022.