Movie Reviews

James Gunn Compares Filming GOTG 3 & The Holiday Special

James Gunn has revealed what was tougher to shoot between Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. The Guardians of the Galaxy is a sub-franchise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that details the adventures of a motley crew of spacefaring heroes that includes Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), Groot (Vin Diesel), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and Drax (Dave Bautista). Their storyline originated in the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy and has stretched across various crossovers and solo films, including appearances in Avengers: Infinity WarAvengers: Endgame, and Thor: Love and Thunder.

The next cinematic entry featuring the heroes will be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which comes to theaters on May 5, 2023. That film will follow the events that take place after Endgame, with Star-Lord still struggling with the death of Gamora even though a version of her from the past still exists in the current timeline (allowing Saldaña to still appear in the film, but in a different capacity). However, the characters will appear in live-action before the film premieres in the Disney+ exclusive The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which is set to premiere in December 2022. Gunn helmed the shooting of both upcoming Guardians projects in a back-to-back production.

Related: Adam Warlock’s Design In The GOTG 3 Trailer Is Brilliantly Simple

Gunn recently shared a pair of photos from a wrap dinner celebrating the end of filming on Guardians. A fan replied to his post, asking if Vol. 3 was his favorite story to shoot. Gunn responded in the negative, saying that while The Holiday Special was “a pure joy,” Vol. 3 was “very difficult” and it might be his “favorite movie” but definitely not his “favorite shooting experience.” Check out Gunn’s response below:

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It makes sense that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would have been the toughest to film. That project has much more riding on it now that the Guardians are among the most tenured heroes currently in the MCU. The film will also now be one of the lynchpins that Marvel uses to connect Phase 5 to the broader Multiverse Saga, so there was probably a lot of additional material he needed to squeeze into a script that already features an overabundance of characters.

In addition to a creative burden, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 likely also provided an emotional one. The film is the end of an era because while some team members will likely stick around in future films, this is the end of the line for some, including Dave Bautista as Drax. Having to say goodbye to the team that has helped Gunn bring these films to life for nearly a decade surely would have been a difficult process, and that is not a burden that The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special would have carried with it.

Next: Every Marvel Movie & Show Missing From Phase 5 & 6

Source: James Gunn/Twitter

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