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James Gunn Explains How The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special Will Get You Ready For Vol. 3

James Gunn, the filmmaker who was recently hired to lead DC Studios — Warner Bros. new film and TV division for DC properties — still has some unfinished business with Marvel and the MCU. The "Slither" director is in the process of finishing up work on "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." Said to be the final chapter featuring the current lineup of characters seemingly confirming fans' worst fears, "Vol. 3" concludes the almost decade long journey that these characters have faced.

The film finally began production in 2021 after Gunn was fired from Marvel after a misunderstanding and subsequently re-hired to finish the story of these beloved characters. "Vol. 3" has an official release date of May 5, 2023, for its debut in theaters. Aside from their final rodeo in the trilogy-ender, The Guardians are making an extra stop for a Disney+ "special presentation," a la "Werewolf By Night."

"The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" hits Disney+ on November 25, 2022, and it catches up with the ragtag group of space superheroes following the events of "Vol. 2," "Avengers: Endgame," and "Thor: Love and Thunder," when they last appeared in the MCU. Gunn recently explained how the "Holiday Special" plays into the events of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."

James Gunn confirms the Holiday Special will catch us up to what The Guardians have been up to

In an interview with Phase Zero, series director James Gunn explained how "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" is gearing fans up for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." While Gunn confirmed that the "Holiday Special" has a balance to it where fans don't necessarily have to watch it before "Vol. 3," he thinks fans should still check it out to catch up with what the Guardians have been up to for the past couple of years before the next film.

He said in the interview, "You're gonna see how they now inhabit Knowhere. They've got a new ship called the Bowie. They've got a dog [who] is part of their crew now, who has telekinesis, named Cosmo. So where you get to learn all that, and then there's a couple of bigger pieces of spoiler-y lore." The tease of spoiler-y lore should have fans salivating and chomping at the bit to check out the new special. Gunn has certainly proven that he is a filmmaker that has more than a few tricks up his sleeve in terms of surprising fans.

The Holiday Special freed James Gunn up from having to explain exposition in Guardians 3

Director James Gunn continued in the Phase Zero interview, "In a way, the 'Holiday Special' was a Trojan Horse for me to sneak in stuff that becomes important in 'Vol. 3,' so I don't have to spend a lot of time at the beginning of that movie explaining it." The fact that the new film now won't have to get bogged down by early exposition primes it to be an all-out space adventure spectacular and a satisfying conclusion for fans who have stuck with the series since the original film was released in 2014.

Both Gunn and series star Karen Gillan have teased an emotional conclusion to the trilogy in "Vol. 3." Gunn seemingly confirmed this in the interview saying that the "Holiday Special" is "very, very different than 'Vol. 3' because 'Vol. 3' is a really very emotional movie." Cast members like Zoe Saldana have expressed bittersweet feelings about it being their final runs as their beloved characters and even the topic of which characters are most likely to die in "Vol. 3" has been the subject of speculation. Regardless of the ending fans get in "Vol. 3," at least they'll have an additional "Holiday Special" to catch up with their favorite outer space heroes.