If the brief appearance from Baby Groot in the mid-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy left you dying to see more, you’ll no doubt be ecstatic that Marvel has opted to keep the young sapling for next year’s Vol. 2, rather than restoring the fan-favourite character to his usual size.
Some cynics have suggested that the inclusion of Baby Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is nothing more than a ploy by Marvel to sell more merchandise, but director James Gunn has denied that notion, stating on Facebook that it was a creative decision which helped to open up the movie and bring the story together:
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.
SEE ALSO: Official images from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 released
Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is scheduled for release on April 28th 2017 in the UK and on May 5th in the States, with director James Gunn reuniting with returning cast members Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), Vin Diesel (Groot), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Glenn Close (Nova Prime) and Sean Gunn (Kraglin) alongside new additions Pom Klementieff (Oldboy) as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) as Ayesha, Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight) as Ego the Living Planet, Chris Sullivan (The Drop) as Taserface and Sylvester Stallone (Creed) in as yet-unrevealed role.