Director and writer James Gunn has yet to start filming the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, due to release in December 2022.
Speaking with Collider (opens in new tab), Gunn explains that this is due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Omicron variant simply making it unsafe to film.
"We were supposed to shoot one day in LA, and there's too much Omicron around, so we couldn't do it" says Gunn, adding that he's very excited about the special.
"I'm almost jealous of it, even though I wrote it because people freak out so much on how much they love the script for the holiday special that I'm almost like, 'Well, wait. I've got this movie here I've been working on for two years. You love the holiday special that I literally wrote in a very short amount of time.' But, it is really funny and really good."
The movie Gunn is referring to is Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (opens in new tab), which is still set to release in 2023. Little is known about the story, although Gunn shared some praise for Chukwudi Iwuji, who has been cast in an undisclosed role and is also playing a main character in Gunn's Peacemaker (opens in new tab) series.
"Chukwudi, who plays Murn in Peacemaker, is one of the main characters in the movie and people are freaking out over how good this guy is. Literally freaking out. I think that I'm really happy. I gave a bunch of scenes to Marvel right before Christmas break. Kevin [Feige] went... They were all really, really, really stoked."
He also teases that the movie will be very different to what fans are expecting and that he's really happy with how it's turning out so far.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will release exclusively for Disney+ and will serve as part of Phase 4 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (opens in new tab).
Although plot details are scarce, all of the Guardians - Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot - will return, alongside Nebula and Mantis.
Since it's releasing before the third movie, the special could resolve a lingering plot thread from Avengers: Endgame concerning Gamora. While the Gamora of the main timeline died in Avengers: Infinity War, a younger version of her from the past has been left stranded in the present and her current whereabouts are unknown.