James Gunn offers no help in trying to clear up the MCU’s confusing Phase Four timeline

guardians of the galaxy thor love and thunder
Image via Marvel

As effective as it was in hammering home the devastation caused by Thanos completing his goal and eradicating half of all living creatures in the universe, the five-year time jump that opened Avengers: Endgame has led to much confusion over the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s current timeline.

The conclusion to the Infinity Saga was definitively placed in 2023, but it wasn’t long until fans began questioning how Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s “10 Years Later” tag fit in, to the extent that it eventually ended up being retconned altogether. Now, James Gunn has only served to muddy the waters further by addressing when exactly The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special takes place.

In responding to a fan asking whether the Marvel Studios Special Presentation took place in 2023 or 2024, the writer and director responded by saying that in his mind, the events unfolded in 2022. While that sounds fairly straightforward, Disney Plus has officially placed The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special after Werewolf by Night as the most canonically recent entry in the franchise’s film and television timeline.

Basically, that means there’s no way festive one-off can take place in 2022, when it’s been placed after Endgame and every other Phase Four project by the mighty Mouse House itself. We know it happens in close proximity to Thor: Love and Thunder, which definitely doesn’t take place in 2022, serving only to cast more doubt on how it all ties together in the grand calculus of the multiverse.

This is what happens when you’ve got countless creatives cranking out projects at an accelerated rate, though, so it’s probably best not to put too much thought into it lest you end up with a migraine.