Who didn’t love Groot in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie? The dude rarely spoke more than three distinct words, was friendly and I refuse to admit that my eye lubrication mechanisms malfunctioned during the “We are Groot” scene. Lies, all of it and you can’t prove a damn thing. Groot almost kicked the bucket in the first Guardians movie, but much like a peasant in a Monty Python movie, he got better!
And cuter as well, as Baby Groot took the world by storm. Adorable and travel-sized, Baby Groot has grown a little since the events of the first film and is now a little badass in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. You’d also imagine that he was created solely to push plushies and various other merchandise in his likeness onto fans, who probably aren’t complaining about that right now.
But that’s not exactly the case, as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn took to Facebook to explain why Baby Groot is a character who is more than just a reason to fill the toy store shelves with adorable scale-replica models of the little guy:
To be honest, 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.
When I approached Marvel Studios with my idea for Vol. 2 I was afraid of the involvement of Ego the Living Planet – a rather, uh, broad character in the 616 universe of Marvel Comics. I was afraid of the inclusion of Mantis and Ayesha, and more prominent roles for Nebula and Yondu. But I was even more afraid of approaching them with the concept that Baby Groot, and not Groot, would be a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Yes, perhaps it seems like a hole-in-one idea now, but Groot was the most popular character in the first film, and sometimes when something works studios are more than a little reluctant to change.
To my happy surprise, my partners at Marvel were more than supportive about the big swings in the story of Vol. 2. They seemed to instinctively know, like I did, that what matters in the Guardians franchise is to keep giving people the unexpected…
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.
Fair enough, and again, nobody is going to complain about the amount of Baby Groot merch that probably will be headed your way soon anyway. That being said, I’d still Matty’s legs for Disney to make a proper Baby Groot and Rocket Raccoon road trip movie. Make it so lads. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 is out next year May 5, just in time to remind you not to mess with the tiny and adorable berserker. I AM GROOT!
Last Updated: December 13, 2016