James Gunn Hypes A Very Special Character Debut In The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special

The man who brought Howard the Duck and Cosmo the Spacedog into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now hyping another character introduction in "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" — though he won't say who it is just yet. James Gunn directed the first two "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies, hopped over to the DC universe to make "The Suicide Squad," and is set to begin filming "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" later this year. He could probably do with a vacation — and, after saving the galaxy yet again, the Guardians could probably do with one too.

Fortunately they'll be getting some time off in "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special," an upcoming Disney+ special that's set to release during the 2022 holiday season. Gunn will write and direct the special, and when asked by a fan on Twitter if he's planning to drop in any more surprise character debuts, he offered this tantalizing tease:

Between "subjective," "odd," and the thousands of characters that have appeared in Marvel Comics over the last 82 years, this character could be just about anyone — and knowing Gunn, it will probably be someone unexpected. The filmmaker has previously said that the holiday special will be firmly set in official MCU canon, and "you're gonna learn stuff that you need to learn before Volume 3." So, whichever character is introduced could end up playing a role in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" as well.

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

Phase Four is already off to a delightfully weird start ("Loki" introduced an alligator version of Loki and featured a cameo by Throg, a frog with the powers of Thor). Holiday specials are also inherently weird in their own right, and the Guardians are the weirdest superhero team in the MCU — so there's really no limit to who might pop up on the Benatar in "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special."

That said, one Twitter user came up with the excellent guess that it could be Santa Claus — who, yes, does exist in the Marvel universe. Santa Claus made a number of appearances in Marvel holiday special comics, and in "Marvel Holiday Special" #1 he pinged Cerebro's radar as "the most powerful mutant ever registered." More recently, Santa Claus threw down with Deadpool in "Deadpool" #7 (2018), but the fight ended when Deadpool shattered Santa's knee. Which, in a way, makes Deadpool the most powerful mutant ever.

"The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" will release on Disney+ during the 2022 holiday season.