In 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy became one of Marvel’s biggest (and most surprising) hits, and one of the main reasons why was the cast of characters. Audiences quickly became fond of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot, relating to their outsider status and major amounts of heart. While the team sees some new additions this time out (Yondu, Nebula, and Mantis), much of the focus is going to remain on the core group and how their dynamics have changed since they defeated Ronan the Accuser. And in Groot’s case, his relationship with his friends isn’t the only thing that’s different this time around.
After the fully-grown tree alien sacrificed himself at the end of the first film, Groot returns in the sequel as the lovable Baby Groot, who has already become a favorite amongst viewers. His cute appearance endears the little Groot to audiences, and he will surely be a merchandising giant when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gets closer to its premiere. While moviegoers seem to enjoy watching the troublesome toddler in action, he doesn’t exactly make life easy for his companions – as one might expect.
Screen Rant visited the Vol. 2 set last April and spoke to director James Gunn about the decision to use Baby Groot, where he elaborated on the character’s traits:
He’s a unique little fella, and he’s pretty great in the movie even though he’s not even there. But all the time Chris is like “God dammit, he’s gonna steal the f***ing movie.” And it’s nothing. It’s nothing there, but he’s funny even in the dailies we’re watching. And we got the guy on a stick, and people are laughing. There’s something really cool about him, and he’s funny in the movie. He’s a little jerk too.
Gunn also mentioned Baby Groot “can kick some ass,” but he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. “He’s a baby. He’s not very smart. So, he’s stupid.” This is definitely hinted at in the footage shown from the film so far. An exclusive clip from San Diego Comic-Con last year depicted the youngster having a (comically) bad time figuring out what Yondu’s head fin was, while at the same time he took out a prison guard with ease. As for Groot being a “jerk,” he did seem keen on blowing up his friends with an atomic bomb and had a few choice words for Yondu that are decidedly not kid-friendly. Like most children, Baby Groot has a mischievous side that should be fun to watch. The trailers have only scratched the surface of what fans should expect, so hopefully there are a few more amusing beats involving Groot’s exploits before he gets older again.
Vol. 2 is shaping up to be a very different film from its predecessor, and the decision to have Baby Groot in the movie is just one way Gunn will try to accomplish that. The director has stated he felt the little guy was easier to work with during production when compared to his adult version, and he believes Baby Groot is “better written” as a character. Groot is no longer just the muscle who is always by Rocket’s side; he’s an energetic child who looks to be a handful for anyone to handle. He should have more of a personality this time around, which will be entertaining for all.
Source: James Gunn