There are many reasons why the Guardians of the Galaxy were able to resonate with audiences so quickly, despite being almost completely unknown heroes before taking the big screen by storm. The family of intergalactic misfits and James Gunn's unique directing flair instantly separate the franchise from the rest of the MCU, on top of the iconic Awesome Mix soundtrack.
In 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt's Star-Lord explored the cosmos while enjoying a mixtape of hits that his mother gave him. Moving into Vol. 2, Peter Quill instead listened to a follow-up tape she gave him in her dying moments but had been left wrapped in mystery for years since.
Gunn has made his musical choice an iconic signature of his directing style with Guardians of the Galaxy, The Suicide Squad, and Peacemaker, all sporting unique classic selections. Moving into 2023's trilogy-completing Vol. 3, fans are eager to see what the director will have to offer next.
Now, Gunn offered confirmation that the next Awesome Mix soundtrack will be coming sooner than many were expecting.
James Gunn Teases Guardians Holiday Soundtrack
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn confirmed a new Awesome Mix soundtrack will be released later this year to coincide with the Disney+ Holiday Special, saying in response to a fan question on Twitter, "will there ever."
The Awesome Mix albums released to accompany the previous Guardians of the Galaxy films included classic 20th-century hits such as "Mr. Blue Sky," "Spirit in the Sky," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," and "Cherry Bomb."
Gunn went on to tease Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as "probably Drax's last movie" as it concludes the story for "this group of Guardians:"
"I try to never say never when it comes to these things but, yes, it’s probably Drax’s last movie and the end of the story for this group of Guardians."
Drax actor Dave Bautista previously teased the trilogy-concluding epic as his final MCU outing, calling it the "end of a journey."
In response to a fan questioning his emphasis on "this group," the director insisted he doesn't know "what's going to happen in the future," but Vol. 3 concludes the story he "set out to tell starting ten years ago" with Guardians of the Galaxy::
"Meaning who knows what’s going to happen in the future but #GotGVol3 is the end of the story I set out to tell starting ten years ago with Vol 1."
Gunn later explained how he "always thought it was a trilogy," with each Guardians of the Galaxy film having been greenlit before its predecessor was released:
"Yes I always thought it was a trilogy. Vol 2 was greenlit & announced at SDCC a few weeks before Vol 1 was released. I don’t remember exactly when Vol 3 was officially greenlit but I was on board before Vol 2 was released."
Awesome Mix: Festive Edition Coming Soon
Director James Gunn already delivered two beloved compilations of classic 20th-century hits over the last two Guardians of the Galaxy outings. The director ought to bring back much of that same energy for Vol. 3, but there's currently no telling what direction he will take the Holiday Special's Awesome Mix. Perhaps it will be packed with festive hits to match the season.
Awesome Mix Vol. 3 looks to be taking a different format as the next batch of songs is instead played on the Zune MP3 player that Chris Pratt's Star-Lord was handed at the end of Vol. 2. The Holiday Special's hits ought to similarly be played off Zune, likely from a different playlist on the digital device.
Disney+'s debut Holiday Special has been hinted at clocking in around the 40-minute mark, significantly shorter than the roughly two-hour runtime of the Guardians' big-screen adventures. With that in mind, fans should expect this year's Awesome Mix follow-up to be around one-third the length of the rest - so probably around four or five songs.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will premiere on Disney+ this festive season.