Marvel Phase 4 is officially over. The first slate of new movies (and shows) following Avengers: Endgame came to an end with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. So as Marvel fans settle in for the holidays and prepare for Phase 5, it’s only natural to reflect on the MCU’s last few years.
Everyone has their own opinions on the best and worst entries in Marvel Phase 4, especially with so many options to choose from. But it seems like Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has a few opinions of his own — at least when it comes to what’s worst.
What happened — James Gunn is famously active on social media (at least by Marvel director standards), which has led to some wild speculation around his plans for the DC Universe. So on November 21, he responded to a tweet asking him what Marvel movies or shows were worth revisiting ahead of the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which debuts November 25 on Disney+.
In response, he noted that while nothing is “must see” (the holiday special pretty much stands on its own), it’s worth revisiting both Guardians of the Galaxy films along with the two most recent Avengers movies since those “all have small amounts of information in them that are referenced” in the special.
Notably missing from this list? Thor: Love and Thunder, which prominently featured the Guardians in several opening scenes after Thor seemingly joined the group at the end of Avengers: Endgame.
Now before I go any further, I want to make it clear that James Gunn probably has nothing against Thor: Love and Thunder. Gunn even consulted on the scenes featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy to make sure they stayed in character.
So this tweet is probably just an oversight. But then again, maybe not.
A few other details suggest Gunn may actually be a bit salty about how the Guardians were used in Thor 4. Is this a ridiculous theory? Yes. But is it a fun one? Also yes. So in the spirit of the holidays, let’s have a bit of fun.
James Gunn vs. Thor 4
Okay, so Gunn left Love and Thunder off his list of movies to watch before the Guardians Holiday Special, but does that really mean anything? To be fair, his lovable band of outcasts play a pretty minor role in the movie. The only thing Thor 4 confirms is that Gamora is still missing after running off at the end of Endgame. The Holiday Special is able to re-establish that detail with a single line of dialogue. So perhaps Gunn is just observing that Taika Waititi’s movie didn’t provide any new information about the Guardians as characters.
Then again, there’s one thing the Thor movie did do that may have annoyed James Gunn. Love and Thunder famously introduced two very loud and obnoxious magic goats. And it was later revealed that Waititi purposefully wrote the script to “stick James with some goats,” according to Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt.
However, having seen the Guardians Holiday Special for review purposes, I can confirm that there are no goats in this short film. (Or if they do appear, it’s in such a minor capacity that I completely missed them.) In other words, Gunn seemingly refused to acknowledge Taika’s prank — although it’s still possible the goats could show up in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Are those annoying goats enough of a reason to make James Gunn hate Thor: Love and Thunder? Maybe not, but combine that with the fact that Taika Waititi’s Thor sequel was also just kind of mediocre and it starts to make sense.
Then again, maybe I’m completely misreading the situation. Maybe Gunn loves Thor 4 and just ran out of space on Twitter. We may never know, though if those goats do show up in Guardians Vol. 3 then I’ll gladly admit I was wrong.
The Guardians Holiday Special premieres November 25 on Disney+.