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Disney+ is making MCU history with the first project ever without a villain

Disney+ is making MCU history with the first project ever without a villain

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special comes as one of the MCU’s most unique outings, and even sets a new standard from a villain perspective as well.

Through the MCU’s Phase 4 slates, fans have been treated to another round of top-notch villains with countless ties to Marvel’s past and present.

Spider-Man: No Way Home brought back five iconic antagonists, most notably Willem Dafoe’s take on the Green Goblin as he brought another round of mayhem for a new Spider-Man to deal with. Before that, Phase 4’s first two projects tied back to the MCU’s earliest days with the real Mandarin arriving Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Dreykov enters the light Black Widow.

Disney+ has also had its fair share of iconic big bads, from the powerful witch Agatha Harkness in WandaVision to Vincent D’Onofrio’s iconic Kingpin in Hawkeyewith more of these antagonists on the way in Phase 5 as well.

However, as Phase 4 ends with the Guardians’ Holiday specialthis new Disney+ entry becomes the first MCU project in history to call it quits regarding a villain.

Disney+ sets new MCU mark without a villain

Star-Lord and Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Marvel

During an interview with Variety, MCU director James Gunn confirmed it The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special does not have a villain, making it the first MCU project in history to go without an antagonist.

Gunn revealed it “there’s no villain in this one,” reminiscent of how every other MCU project has featured at least one nemesis:

“One thing that’s cool about it is that there’s no villain in this one. There haven’t been any Marvel stories that I can remember where there hasn’t been a villain of some kind.”

A few MCU movies and shows have managed to include characters who aren’t outright villains with reasoned arguments. This is especially the case in Black panther franchise, with MCU newcomer Tenoch Huerta claiming that the sequel’s Namor isn’t really much of a villain.

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Some may even reason with Thanos’ motivations, from a certain point of view. However Holiday special now officially becomes the first MCU project to not have a villainous force at all.

Gunn then explained that he “wrote a treatment” with another bigger threat for the Guardians to face, which even included Kevin Bacon “[jumping] around and … perform action stunts.” But in the end, there was no interest for Gunn in the larger threat, which led him to do something much more personal:

“Before I wrote the script, I wrote a treatment, and in the treatment there was another threat. I just realized I wasn’t interested in this other thing. There was an action sequence at the end where Kevin Bacon was jumping around doing action stunts, which would have been pretty cool, but the threat didn’t interest me at all. What interested me was the interaction between the characters. So I cut it out and made it a story about people.”

Gunn also revealed that he wrote the special “in three days” with whom he worked Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3and notes how easy it was because the stakes were so low:

“Honestly, I wrote the special in three days. There were literally no notes from Marvel, and nothing changed except that I occasionally add things as we shoot. It was very simple and it stayed light throughout, and it was great because “Vol. 3 is actually very emotional. We shot them both at the same time, so it was fun to shoot “Vol. 3″ for a few days, which was tough, and then have a day off to shoot this show. Because the stakes were low. It was just stupid.”

Gunn has talked about how difficult the filming of the third and last one was Guardians the film was in previous interviews, which previously described the process as “torture.”

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Guardian special tags Unique MCU instance

In regards to Holiday special is largely focused on celebrating the holidays, it’s not too much of a shock to see that there’s no villain for the Guardians to face.

The special’s first trailer teased how the team wanted to give Peter Quill a special Christmas with his thoughts on Gamora after she disappeared. Combine that with the nature of the project as a light-hearted story, and it became clear to Gunn that there was no need for a bad guy for the Guardians to fight to save Christmas.

Fortunately, the team will have no shortage of antagonists moving forward, as Chukwudi Iwuji is set to play arguably their most challenging foe yet, the High Evolutionary, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

That film will premiere in theaters on May 5, 2023.

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