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James Gunn Answers Guardians Holiday Questions and Teases DC Connections

The Guardians director and new head of DC loves to set the record straight on Twitter for both Marvel and DC.

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Gunn talking to his stars.
James Gunn (with Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista) on the set of the Guardians Holiday Special.
Image: Marvel Studios

It’s fitting that James Gunn just released a holiday special because he’s currently the bright star at the center of the superhero movie world. Not only did Gunn just release The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special ahead of next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but he’s also the new co-head of DC Films, currently working out how to compete with Marvel across all media.

If those types of things interest you—and if you’re reading this, they probably doGunn’s Twitter is a must-follow. He’s one of a very, very small handful of powerful geek creatives who still actively engages on the platform, and this past weekend Gunn was in full force, answering fans’ burning questions about the Guardians and even teasing some larger generalizations about the future of DC.

Starting with Guardians, Gunn did his best to clear up one of the bigger questions surrounding the special, which is when and how did the Guardians of the Galaxy buy Knowhere, the huge celestial skull where the Collector resided in the first film. “Although the Guardians are sometimes heroes, they work as mercenaries & it brings in a fair amount of money,” Gunn tweeted. “So after Thanos attacked Knowhere they bought it from the Collector. It was a burnt out husk & they’ve been rebuilding it.” On Knowhere, we see the Guardians are now friends with Cosmo, the dog briefly seen in the Collector’s collection in the original Guardians. Gunn confirmed Cosmo hadn’t left, and met the Guardians on the planet.


In terms of timelines between the Holiday Special and the Guardians’ last appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder, Gunn was a little less clear. “I’m not sure how it works out in the timeline (these things aren’t discussed) but in my mind they were only with Thor a few weeks,” he said. He was clear though on why Peter Quill is less OK going back to Earth than he is other places. “Because when we’re 8 years old we process trauma much, much differently than we do when we’re 38,” Gunn tweeted. 

There also seemed to be many, many questions about the new Groot, which Gunn has lovingly dubbed “Swole Groot.” In his mind, this is not the same Groot we saw in the first film who lovingly sacrificed himself for his team. And with a new life and experiences, that explains why his body has developed differently. “I think it’s explicit in the movies,” Gunn tweeted. “As Baby Groot was explicitly a baby without the knowledge of OG Groot. But now that Groot’s body is developing differently it’s more obvious.”


Answering questions about the practicality of the special, Gunn confirmed what was, and wasn’t real, in terms of shooting locations. “Knowhere was mostly practical with some extensions & the spaceship (& Hollywood Blvd) were all practical,” he said.

Just a bevy of Marvel information. Since it’s much newer in Gunn’s career, his openness about the future of DC Film was certainly less specific, but no less exciting. “The DCU will be connected across film and TV (and animation),” Gunn said, kind of wrapping up a slew of tweets where he said there would be 2D and 3D animation, that some of the animations would tie into the world of the movies and TV (while others won’t), future video games will tie into the larger DC Universe, he expects to write and direct some DC projects in the future, and while there is communication between film and comics, he is only involved with the films.


Finally, while Gunn is honest that he’s only been at DC a few weeks and plans are in place, he expects at least some news to be out about his and co-chair Peter Safran’s plans well before next year’s San Diego Comic-Con. But in the meantime, he’s got to finish and promote Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which will tie up not just the story of the Guardians, but Gunn’s at Marvel too.

What’s the main takeaway here? Well, follow James Gunn on Twitter for one. And two, everyone please keep being nice to him so he doesn’t leave. Because it’s incredible to have someone with such influence be so accessible.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water.