After a long dilemma with Disney that led to a recent stint at DC, James Gunn is coming back to the MCU this year as work gets underway on the long-awaited Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and accompanying Disney+ holiday special. Filming is currently happening in Atlanta bringing the whole Guardians gang back in action - including Chris Pratt's Star-Lord, Dave Bautista's Drax, and more.
The Disney+ holiday spectacular and the big-screen blockbuster threequel will be filmed back to back, setting up the streaming special for a festive season release before the Guardians return to theaters in May 2023.
James Gunn has remained cryptic about what to expect from the holiday special but has indicated it will come in under the 40-minute mark. Despite the short run time, the director has called it critical viewing before Vol. 3, along with rumors pointing to some surprising celebrity guest stars.
As shooting progresses, The Direct can now exclusively offer a new look at the production of a holiday action sequence.
The Guardians Return to Earth in Holiday Set
The Direct has exclusively obtained new set photos from James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy production in Atlanta revealing a peek into a festive action sequence on Earth.
The Atlanta neighborhood has been coated with holiday decorations for the scene, with a Beverly Hills police car parked neatly outside (for now).
A police car appears once again outside another festive home directly across the street from the other, this time having been flipped upside down.
A closer look at the flipped police car reveals seats placed atop the vehicle, which may be used during a stunt sequence.
The damaged car can be seen from another angle to be kitted with equipment and ready for a stunt.
Fans can get a better look at the retro-looking decorations placed outside the Atlanta home, which almost certainly doubles for another location.
Previous reports indicate the Atlanta Country Club set was intended to resemble a Beverly Hills, California, neighborhood which is supported by the reveal of a police car from the city.
All five photos were captured in Atlanta by Grant Malear.
Why are the Guardians Back on Earth?
Given the festive decorations coating the neighborhood, the newly-discovered set photos almost certainly come from The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, as opposed to Vol 3. The Disney+ special is currently shooting in Atlanta alongside the big-screen blockbuster under James Gunn.
Beverly Hills is among the most upscale cities in California, serving as the home to many Hollywood stars, which is intriguing amid rumors of Kevin Bacon's involvement. Dave Bautista's Drax stunt double Gary Peebles was also reportedly on set for the festive action sequence, but who knows how that leads to a police car flipping.
For now, there is no clear indication of what will bring the Guardians back to Earth, especially with Star-Lord's long-standing aversion to his home planet. Perhaps the Earth setting, as opposed to the usual galactic Guardians action, may be used to lower production costs for the one-off Disney+ special.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will release this festive season, exclusively on Disney+.