James Gunn (director, Guardians of the Galaxy) recently defined where the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special fits in the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline. The Disney+ special will be a first for Marvel and is set to premiere during the holiday season of 2022, according to IGN.
Earlier this week, Gunn shared a picture of the cover page of the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special script on his Twitter. According to IGN, the writer and director replied to fan’s questions in an impromptu Q&A session beneath the tweet. In those replies is where Gunn confirmed the holiday special will sit between Thor: Love and Thunder and Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3. The former is set to premiere in theaters in 2022 with the latter film hitting theaters in 2023.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) April 22, 2021
Despite their next titular project being over a year away, the Guardians of the Galaxy are likely to appear in Thor: Love and Thunder, which is slated to premiered May 6, 2022, via IGN. The last time audiences saw Peter Quill and the rest of the Guardians, they were traveling with Thor at the end of Avengers: Endgame. In fact, Gunn and Taika Waititi (director, Thor: Ragnarok) have reportedly traded scripts for their upcoming Marvel projects to clearly define where their respective characters will be at various different points in the upcoming film.
The film portion of phase four of the MCU is officially taking shape. Black Widow, the first MCU film since the Infinity Saga culminated in Avengers: Endgame, is set for a simultaneous theatrical and streaming release of July 9, 2021. According to IGN, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to follow Black Widow with a current release date of September 3, 2021. November 2021 will bring Eternals to theaters and Spider-Man: No Way Home will finish out the theatrical year with a release date of December 17, 2021.