Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has had a wild and weird journey, but really, aren’t those the only kinds of journeys the Guardians take? As a part of Disney‘s Investor Day, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige confirmed that the third installment will arrive in theaters in 2023.
But that’s not all! If you’ve ever thought Guardians‘ uniquely groovy tunes might lend themselves to a good old-fashioned bit of Christmas caroling, you’re in for a treat. James Gunn will also write and direct a Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special for Disney+, which will be shot during the filming of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and will arrive on the streamer in 2022.
But wait, that is also not all! Feige also revealed that everyone’s favorite tiny-to-full-grown-man-sized tree Groot will be getting their own series of animated shorts on Disney+. No details were given on exactly which version of the beloved character we should expect or what they’re getting up to, so really, the only thing to say about that is “I Am Groot”. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that is also the name of the series.
And that’s a nice little treat to have while we wait for Gunn‘s trilogy capper, because once upon a time, Vol. 3 was supposed to be the big opener for Phase 4 of the MCU. But after the filmmaker’s short-lived departure from Disney, he was scooped up by Warner Bros. and had to shoot The Suicide Squad before he could come back to finish his Guardians trilogy. And that was before the tragic loss of Black Panther and a worldwide pandemic completely upended Marvel‘s big plans for their shared universe.
Guardians star Dave Bautista recently spoke with EW about the shakeups, telling the outlet: “I believe it’s okay to say that we will go into production late next year,” Bautista says. “I saw a script early on when we were all on schedule and James Gunn was attached before everything went nutso. I believe because [Marvel‘s] whole calendar has changed [due to the pandemic shutdown and Guardians‘ production delays], that storylines have changed, and they won’t intersect like originally planned.”