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Why James Gunn Used Baby Groot in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

Why James Gunn Used Baby Groot in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is still six months away, the first trailer was greeted by nearly universal acclaim and it appears that Baby Groot may be the breakout character of the film. However, there are cynics who have suggested that Baby Groot’s inclusion was part of a marketing scheme to sell toys. Director James Gunn is now pushing back against that claim, and he’s not only explained why he left Groot as a baby, he’s revealed that the original plan was for Groot to once again be an adult!

In a post on his Facebook page, Gunn wrote “when I was first working on the script for Vol. 2 I was planning on it being years after the first movie and for little Groot to be a grown Groot. But there was something missing. First of all, I thought there was a lot of development the group needed to go through as a group – and it would be a shame for the audience to miss it. And, secondly, for whatever reason, Groot just wasn’t working. It was then I came upon the idea of having Vol. 2 take place very shortly after the first film and for Groot to still be Baby Groot, with quite a lot to learn. Even though I had already long-ago-decided on the other characters involved, this change opened up the whole movie for me and it suddenly all came together. I fell in love with the script for Vol. 2, and I felt like we were creating something very special.”

Gunn added that “All that said, I’m not an idiot. I knew if Baby Groot worked, the world would want Baby Groot toys and figures and plushies. But that certainly didn’t seem like a certainty when I was alone in my office conceiving of a story, and it most definitely was not the driving force of the decision. I, like so many of you through the trailer alone, had fallen in love with the little dude – even though at that point he was only in my head.”

It should be noted that Gunn didn’t come up with the idea for Baby Groot. That notion took root in the Annihilation: Star-Lord miniseries by Keith Giffen and Timothy Green II, in which Groot sacrificed himself for the team and was reborn as a sapling. Obviously, that carried over to the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie and it led to that very crowd pleasing mid-credits scene with Baby Groot and Drax the Destroyer. Despite the comic book history of Baby Groot, Gunn appears to be the first one to really take advantage of using a younger Groot for an entire story. But don’t get too used to this version of Groot: Vin Diesel has been hinting that Groot will fight the Hulk in Avengers: Infinity War, and he can’t do that as a baby! We expect that Groot will once again go through a metamorphosis in the sequel, and he will probably be his old self again by the end of Vol. 2. They grow up so fast!

Do you want Groot to remain Baby Groot, or should he quickly reclaim his adult form? Shout “I am Groot!!!” in the comment section below!

Image: Marvel Studios


Now, Mr. Gunn, we have some other things to ask you about:

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