The cast for Disney+'s Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has been confirmed by Marvel. Coincidentally, the news comes on the same day director/writer James Gunn revealed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has begun shooting with a behind-the-scenes photo of the returning cast members. Since the holiday special will premiere at the end of 2022 and shoot during production on Vol. 3, it shouldn't be much of a surprise to find out the main Guardians cast will return for the Holiday Special.
Marvel.com revealed the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special cast includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, and Sean Gunn. The actors are found along with Adam Strange actor Will Poulter and Peacemaker's Chukwudi Iwuji in Gunn's photo for the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 production beginning. "It's been a strange & long & at times challenging journey to get here, but the obstacles along the way have only made this moment more blissful. Back on set with my Guardians family for the first day of shooting #GotGVol3," Gunn wrote on Twitter.
It’s been a strange & long & at times challenging journey to get here, but the obstacles along the way have only made this moment more blissful. Back on set with my Guardians family for the first day of shooting #gotgvol3 pic.twitter.com/DrF8ZV8bvz— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) November 8, 2021
While we've been told the special will exist in the same continuity as the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, something we don't know is the identity of the new MCU character Gunn has previously teased. "In my incredibly subjective & admittedly often odd opinion, we'll be introducing one of the greatest MCU characters of all time," Gunn tweeted back in October. If the prolific director is to be believed, then it's possible Iwuji could be portraying this "great" character if they are that important.
After all, it's not a coincidence Iwuji was shown among the Vol. 3 cast. Of course, it doesn't confirm that the Peacemaker star is this specific new MCU character, but Gunn has praised Iwuji, tweeting, "Chuk has indeed joined the cast. After working with him on #Peacemaker I wasn't about to let go of one of the best actors I've ever worked with - so I gave him the role most every big name actor in Hollywood wanted. #TalentAboveAllElse"
ComicBook.com has speculated on who Iwuji may be playing, with guesses going to the likes of the cosmic hero Silver Surfer and the villainous High Evolutionary. However, what if Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 finally introduces Beta Ray Bill to the MCU? He's a hero fans have long wanted to see up on the big screen, with reports and rumors always placing him in sequels to the first Thor movie. Thor: Ragnarok did include a Beta Ray Bill Easter egg on the planet Sakaar, so we know he does exist, even if he hasn't been officially cast.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is slated for a Holiday 2022 release window.