James Gunn reveals bizarre ‘Guardians 3’ wrap gift from Karen Gillan


With filming on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 drawing to a close, wrap gifts are being handed out among the cast and crew. Previously, writer/director James Gunn has revealed the Christmas tree baubles given out to mark the conclusion of the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special shoot, which confirmed a surprise character return. His Vol. 3 wrap gift from Nebula star Karen Gillan isn’t so spoiler-y, however, but it is a whole lot more bizarre.

Gunn shared a snap of the one-of-a-kind present on Twitter, unveiling a framed painting depicting himself watching Gillan’s Nebula dressed up as Charlie Chaplin, complete with bowler hat and cane. Thankfully, he provided us with a bit of context in his caption, although it only raised more questions.

“I have a weird phobia of people walking like Charlie Chaplin (or acting like Groucho [Marx]),” Gunn admitted in his tweet. “It doesn’t bother me when Chaplin (or Groucho) does it, just when people imitate them. So [Karen Gillan] gave me this as a wrap gift.”

OK, so we want to know a lot more about Gunn’s strangely specific phobia. How did he first discover this fear? Do people often impersonate Chaplin and Groucho in front of him in his everyday life? In a follow-up tweet, he even elaborated on another wrinkle to his phobia, clarifying that “if you imitate them just to irritate me it doesn’t bother me, I just think it’s funny. You have to do it sincerely.”

Sonic the Hedgehog star Ben Schwartz then chimed in with a pitch to make a documentary about Gunn’s Chaplin trigger, causing the filmmaker to come clean about a ‘traumatic’ episode from his past.

Considering Robert Downey Jr. once starred in the Chaplin biopic, in which he — as per Gunn’s stipulations — sincerely affected the Chaplin walk, does that mean Gunn gets horrifying flashbacks whenever he watches him as Iron Man? Despite his comment to Schwartz, there’s definitely a lot more to be explained about this phobia. Can we get that documentary on Disney Plus or HBO Max, please?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens in theaters on May 5, 2023.