Admit it. You shed a tear or two when Groot sacrificed himself in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. It was heart-wrenching when the big talking tree and his trusted partner in crime, Rocket, had their final moment right before the Dark Aster came crashing down on Xandar. It was in that “We Are Groot” moment when Groot shot up the leaderboard on many people’s ‘favorite MCU character’ list.
So you didn’t think he’d be sitting the next Guardians movie out because he’s a little sapling now, did you?
Look at the concept art. Look how happy Baby Groot is now that he’s grown out of his potting soil. We all knew that Baby Groot was coming to the sequel, but how exactly is it going to work out? Thankfully, we have director James Gunn to fill us in on what to expect from Groot 2.0.
Let’s start with one of the most important parts of Baby Groot: how exactly will he look? Well, thanks to Gunn (who has the best social media presence of anyone involved in Hollywood), we’ve gotten some great concept art shots. Not just the one above, but also this one.
Here we can see Groot hitching a ride on Drax’s shoulders. Both pictures seem to show a smiling and bemused sapling still lending a hand in all of the action. We know that Volume 2 will take place only months after the eventsof the first movie, so Groot hasn’t had the time to fill into his old frame. He’s going to probably be a tiny version throughout the whole movie, which is pretty brilliant.
Most people seem concerned about one Groot factor: will a tiny Groot have a tiny voice? I mean, this is a big deal since the wind pipes behind the character are provided by the boisterous and baritone Vin Diesel. Of the limited materials shown at San Diego Comic-Con, the sound of Groot was left out. At the time, Gunn said they were working on figuring it out… but has since come out and challenged the notion that the voice change is even a concern.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) September 4, 2016
While clearly it’s not confirmed, the baby version of Groot will be ditching the Barry White vocal cords. Will he sound like Mickey Mouse? Possibly, but I’m confident that whatever Gunn and Diesel decide on… the fans will support 100%.
So up next is the vocabulary possessed by Groot. Sure, he says one thing (and he says it well), but will we actually know what he’s saying? Apparently, that could be the case. Once again, Gunn took to social media to show a special gift he gave to Vin Diesel.
That’s exactly what you think it is; a Groot-specific script which lets Vin know what the character is saying so he can incorporate that emotion into his delivery of “I am Groot.” It’s mind-blowing the attention to detail Gunn puts into his production. It really puts his brilliance as a filmmaker on display, as he makes sure everything runs smoothly. Now… all we need are Groot subtitles as a special feature on the eventual DVD release.
Okay, so, we’re getting a compact version, with a youthful voice… but what about what really matters? Will Groot actually be Groot? It’s been a question on the minds of many, so during a staged Q&A session on Facebook (and read the whole thing if you have the time), Gunn addressed the wooden elephant in the room.
“- Is baby Groot the same as Groot, or Groot’s son?
– Does he have Groot’s memories?
– Does baby Groot stay baby Groot for all of Guardians Vol. 2?
Haha look at that cute thing my cat is doing.
– You’re avoiding the question.
I know. What’s your next question?“
Hmmm. So he won’t confirm if we’ll see a full-sized Groot in this outing (I would doubt it).
An even crazier consideration: is this Groot just a seedling of the previous version? (If so… did any other Groot seeds survive?)
Even more interesting is the fact that Gunn said the mini-me version will no longer possess the same memories! What makes that interesting is the fact that it counters what Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said about the subject during Comic-Con.
“He remembers. He’s not mentally a baby, he is still Groot… I sort of equate it to Spock circa the end of Search for Spock and The Voyage Home.”
So either Feige misspoke… or Gunn is just keeping both cards in play. Whichever story proves true, we’ll have a better idea about the next incarnation of Groot once an official trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gets released. Which, according to Gunn, won’t happen until before Christmas (all signs point to Doctor Strange).
It’s great that James Gunn is taking the character in a new direction… instead of rehashing everything from the first movie. This is actually quite ironic for a character who only says “I am Groot.”