James Gunn on Writing Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special in Hours – The Hollywood Reporter

James Gunn’s world was not as eventful as it is now.

The makers of the film are all set for release The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday special on Disney+ on November 25, and they’re deep into post-production as well Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, his final film in the Marvel Studios franchise. Last but not least, he became co-chairman and co-CEO of DC Studios alongside producer Peter Safran, and the pair are busy planning the next decade of storytelling.

The vacation special Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) Christmas is about Drax’s (Dave Bautista) and Mantis’ (Pom Klementieff) attempt to rediscover love, so they decide to gift him his favorite actor, Kevin Bacon. Gunn took only a few hours to write the screenplay for the 44-minute presentation.

“I’ll be honest, I wrote the screenplay in a few hours, so it just flew out of me. It was so easy,” says Gunn. The Hollywood Reporter. “Everything was easy while shooting. Getting performances from people was easy, but Volume 3 They were tortured in every way.

There is also an upgrade to the gun Volume 3Status in post-production.

“It’s a big movie, and it’s a lot different than a special because a special is very vague and crazy. The movie is very emotional, but it’s a real joy to do it. So it’s coming along great,” shares Gunn. “I still have a ton of visual effects shots, and of course, John Putting up the score with Murphy, it’s gigantic. So those are the things I’ve been focusing on a lot lately.

In a recent conversation with him THRGunn explains the special and benefits of filming Volume 3 At the same time.

James Gunn, congratulations in more ways than one.

(laughs.) Thank you very much.

Kevin Bacon The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

So was Kevin Bacon the germ of this idea?

By the way, the germ of the idea was just making a holiday special. I love the holidays and I love Christmas cookies and I love getting together with my family and giving each other gifts. It’s my favorite time of the year. When I was a child, I was in love Star wars Holiday specialBut I loved it too Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer. I still think [How the Grinch Stole Christmas!] One of the greatest cartoons of all time. So the idea of ​​doing a holiday special with the Guardians was a really fun idea for me and something I really wanted to do. And once I sat down and started trying to figure out what the story was, the idea of ​​Kevin Bacon came out very quickly, and within a few hours I had the whole story written.

“Introducing Kevin Bacon” is such a funny joke in the opening credits. Is there any guild red tape you need to navigate?

No, I don’t think so. “Introducing Kevin Bacon,” Kevin acknowledged. When we showed him the trailer and it said “introducing Kevin Bacon,” he lost it. He lost it. So we knew we’d probably be fine with that.

Just curious, if Kevin isn’t available for this, which of Peter’s (Chris Pratt) favorite musicians would you send after Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff)?

Oh, I don’t know. Peter Quill was very young when he left Earth, so I’m not sure how much awareness he had. When I was eight, I knew who The Monkeys were, but I didn’t know who Peter loved when he was still on Earth in 1987. MC Hammer, maybe.

So how is the post going Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

cool It’s wonderful. It’s a great movie, and it’s very different from the special because the special is so outrageous and insane. The film is very emotional, but it was a real joy to make it. So it’s coming along nicely. I still have a ton of visual effects shots, and of course, putting together the score with John Murphy, which is gigantic. So these are the things I’ve been focusing on a lot lately.

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special

Karen Gillan and Pom Klementieff in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Jessica Miglio

Did you shoot the special immediately after wrapping Volume 3?

I shot them simultaneously. One of the biggest advantages of the special is being able to introduce elements into the film that I didn’t have to explain at the beginning of the film, like Cosmo the Spacedog. [Maria Bakalova] Or he’s living in the Head of Nowhere, his new residence, or introducing his spaceship, Bowie, to this four-story set in real life. It’s the most amazing set I’ve ever been on, and so we were able to use those sets that we had the money to build Volume 3, in particular. We don’t have that kind of money to build these million-dollar sets.

So are you ready for a flood of articles about the specific voice that Kevin Bacon makes?

I hadn’t thought about that, but I’ve already heard about it a couple of times today. (laughs.) I don’t really think about these things, but yeah, I’m open to people bringing it up. I realize now that it was something I didn’t know much about at the time. I mean, I knew it was funny when I did it, but you know…

“Gunn was dropping breadcrumbs the whole time.” I can see now.

(laughs.) may be.

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special

Craiglin Inn by Sean Gunn The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

When I saw Sean Gunn’s character Kraglin in the opening scene, I immediately thought of you and your siblings at Christmas. What is your Christmas memory together?

Christmas was a great time in my family. My family was a crazy place growing up, but at Christmas, people really mellowed out for the most part. Of course, we have those famous family fights at Christmas time, but there are six of us in my family. So the six of us were sitting at the top of the stairs and my parents would open those doors so that we could come down and open all our Christmas presents or look at the Christmas presents. They are not usually wrapped; They were just under the tree. And it was a fun time with my family. And it always gave me a chance to really tune into family and be with my family during the holidays. It’s the reason I love Christmas, so a holiday special, for me, is completely unique. It’s funny because it’s not what you’d expect, but it’s consistent because I love Christmastime. It’s great.

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special

Chris Pratt in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Jessica Miglio

Nice to hear that smashing pumpkin song again. Have you had “Christmastime” in mind too early?

Yes, the music I picked up quickly. I’ll be honest, I wrote the screenplay in a few hours, so it got out of me. It was very easy. Everything was easy while shooting. Getting performances from people was easy, but Volume 3 They were tortured in every way. And so it was like going back and forth between these two things. So it was really fun and really easy, and the score was quick.

On a sad note, it’s quite the moment to hear Low’s “Just Like Christmas” reflect what happened recently.

what happened

Mimi Parker, Lowe’s co-lead singer and drummer, died a couple of weeks ago.

Wow, I didn’t know that until now. God, that’s so sad.

So that moment with his song took on a whole new meaning for me while watching, but I regret being the bearer of bad news.

No, it doesn’t matter. Thanks for telling me. God, wow.

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special

In the old 97s The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Jessica Miglio

Besides buying their records on Amoeba, can you share your history with the old 97s?

They’ve been my favorite band since the 90s and I’ve seen them in concert a billion times. I met [lead vocalist] Rhett Miller in 2005 because I put an old 97 song at the end Slitter, my first movie. It plays over the end credits, and Rhett and I have stayed in touch ever since. And I started writing this song from scratch [of the special], “I don’t know what Christmas is (but it’s Christmas time).” So I had all these lyrics and it kept changing. I walked around my house, singing along to my iPhone trying to figure out how the song worked. And finally, I approached Rhett and said, “Would you help me write this song? Because I can’t do it myself.” And he said, “Sure.” So we started sending tons of recordings and lyrics back and forth, and we wrote that song together.

And after we wrote that song, I was like, “Why don’t you guys play this alien band? Why don’t you come on set and act?” And he said, “Okay.” And then we took an earlier song that he had recorded and he re-recorded it with Kevin Bacon for the end of the show. So Rhett had to act, and he had never acted before. He said, “I’m really nervous about it. I don’t know what to do.” So I said, “It’s like when I saw the Doobie Brothers. What is happening!! When I was a child. He was a terrible actor, but that almost added to the charm. So if you’re a horror actor, it’s fine. I don’t care if you are a terrible actor. And instead, he was great. He is amazing in the role. So the whole thing was really nice.

Can they actually perform in their costumes and prosthetics?

Yes, they played perfectly. It was wonderful. These guys are the greatest guys in the world, but they should be in hell because people complain so much about makeup when they’re on. But he never once complained. They would sing and play their instruments for eight hours, and they would go and go, cut after cut. So he was amazing. They are just great people, not to mention great music. So I think it will turn more people towards the old 97.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Premieres November 25 on Disney+. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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