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James Gunn reveals why Drax and Mantis are the focus of ‘The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special’

"They really are kind of like Abbot and Costello"

Drax and Mantis Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
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Guardians of the Galaxy fans are getting an early Christmas present this year when The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special drops on Nov. 25. But many fans are scratching their heads upon seeing the special trailer and asking themselves where the heck is Star Lord? The franchise lead isn’t completely absent from the trailer, but he seems to be taking a back seat to his fellow Guardians, Mantis and Drax. Director James Gunn has some answers for everybody.

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It seems the number one reason the two seem to be carrying most of the weight in the special is simply that Gunn adores the characters. “I love the two of them. I love the two of them,” Gunn told YouTube Channel Phase Zero. “I wanted to be able to put them at the center of the story as opposed to on the sidelines.”

Gunn does have a very valid reason other than just getting his wishes though. Namely, the undeniable comic chemistry that actors Pom Klementieff and Dave Bautista bring to their roles. Gunn went so far as to compare the both of them to legendary comic actor Lou Costello. “I think it’s such a unique relationship and they really are kind of like Abbott and Costello,” he told Phase Zero, “but both are Costellos, but Drax is such an enormous Costello that he outweighs her Costello-ness.”

“I think both of them have, in the past few movies that weren’t Guardians movies have been incredibly sidelined, haven’t been utilized so much, and so being able to really tell their story and put their journey at the middle of this was important to me. And to be able to see how, just how talented those two actors are as comedians and dramatically especially, you see how good Pom is in this show.”

— James Gunn

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special  is scheduled to be released on Disney Plus on November 25.