Make no mistake, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will undoubtedly be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon. Using the same cast and crew as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the holiday special will be set before the events of the threequel, debuting months ahead of the film on Disney+. In fact, Guardians helmer James Gunn suggests that, in typical Marvel Studios fashion, the Holiday Special will be required watching for Vol. 3.
"It's in-canon, it's about the Guardians, you're gonna learn stuff that you need to learn before Volume 3, and it's great I'm really happy with it," the filmmaker told Collider on the press tour for The Suicide Squad.
The director went on to confirm the special will film at the same time as Vol. 3, even using some of the same sets used in the feature-length film.
"I'm gonna film it at the same time as the movie. I'm using a lot of the same sets, the same actors obviously, so we're filming simultaneously with the film but it's gonna have to be edited and finished sooner."
Gunn then confirmed the special won't nearly be as long as a regular film. Instead, it will clock in "under 40 minutes," comparable to an episode of the Marvel Studios limited series currently airing on the streamer. Gunn wrote the script for the special and will direct.
As with other Marvel projects, exact details about the Guardians special remain impossible to find.
"Yes, the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is real," the filmmaker previously tweeted. "It's something that Marvel Studios and I have been cooking up for years. The story is as crazy and fun as can be, and it's live-action and in the MCU. OH MAN, I WISH I COULD TELL YOU MORE!"
The first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies are now streaming on Disney+ while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is due to hit theaters May 5, 2023. I Am Groot and the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special have yet to receive release dates.
What members of the Guardians would you like to see spin-off shows of? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!