James Gunn (The Suicide Squad) has shared his love for Pom Klementieff (Avengers: Infinity War) and her portrayal of Mantis in the new Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, as positive reviews pour in for the latest MCU project.
In a tweet, Gunn is grateful for the positive early reviews of the new Guardians project, and draws attention to those praising Klementieff’s performance as Mantis. Gunn shared a behind the scenes image of Mantis in a festive get-up, sporting Christmas trees on her antennas, while Dave Bautista’s (Army of the Dead) Drax can be seen behind her. Mantis has appeared in multiple MCU projects now, but Gunn sees this project as her true debut.
“I’m especially grateful for all the raves about Pom Klementieff’s performance as Mantis. This is Mantis’ true debut as her full-fledged self in the MCU, out of the background & out of the shadow of Ego.” Gunn tweeted.
Mantis made her first appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 in 2017, introduced as the villainous Ego’s (Kurt Russell) servant, where she eventually joins the Guardians after breaking free of his control and has gone on to fight alongside the Avengers multiple times.
The new Christmas special, from writer-director Gunn, is set to conclude Marvel’s Phase 4. The Guardians are returning in their first solo feature since 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which was another popular adventure for the misfit crew. Although this is the first Guardians feature since then, they have appeared in multiple MCU projects such as Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame and 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder.
The new project acts as a prequel to the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3, and sees Drax and Mantis set off an adventure together to cheer their leader, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), up. After the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, Peter is left without his lover and teammate Gamora (Zoe Saldana), leaving it up to Drax and Mantis to give him a Christmas present, in the form of Kevin Bacon (Tremors), who plays a heightened version of himself in the special. This leads to a fun, charming tale that acts as a standalone MCU project that is allowed to ignore the larger, universal events that surround Marvel’s heroes at the moment.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special comes to Disney+ on 25th November.