The highly anticipated sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a major part of Marvel Studios' Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2016, and the star of the show was Baby Groot. Since Vol. 2 takes place only a couple of months following the events of the original, the sentient tree has not yet grown back to his full size. Instead, he resembles a toddler and can fit on Rocket Raccoon's shoulder. This element should lead to some amusing comedy, and the footage shown in Hall H suggested Groot would be the source of many laughs.
As adorable as Baby Groot is, the character presents James Gunn with something of a conundrum. Groot is voiced by actor Vin Diesel, who is known for having a very deep voice. While that works for Adult Groot, it probably wouldn't be the right fit for the smaller version. It's a topic Gunn has been asked about on several occasions, and now he's taken to social media to address the issue.
On his Twitter account, Gunn responded to a fan hoping that Diesel's usual voice is used for Baby Groot's lines in Vol. 2:
That would be science fiction. We’re talking reality here (talking sprout, not talking tree). https://t.co/wp9bC9Odru
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) September 4, 2016
The filmmaker remained brief on how exactly he's going to approach this, but this is essentially confirmation that Diesel will not be incorporating his typical inflections for the followup. It makes a good deal of sense that would be the case, since the juxtaposition of young Groot with Dominic Toretto's voice could ultimately be distracting. Gunn has said that Diesel is a performer capable of doing several voices, so they're most likely trying to figure out the best method. It's also possible that Diesel's vocals will be altered in post-production to make his dialogue sound lighter and more high-pitched.
Baby Groot's voice is an aspect of Vol. 2 many are interested in, so the hope is that he will speak at some point in the first official teaser. A trailer should make its way online by the year's end (possibly attached to Doctor Strange), so there's isn't that much more time to wait. It's worth noting that Diesel recently visited Gunn and praised the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 footage he saw, so the two could have been collaborating on the sound of the new Groot during their time together. It will be interesting to see in which direction they go, since there are several ways available to them.
Admittedly, this isn't the juiciest Vol. 2 update, but it does show that Gunn is paying attention to each and every detail. Though the movie will feature several fantastical elements like alien monsters and living planets, it still needs to be grounded somewhat. Giving Groot a different voice this time around is smart, and as Gunn says, bases the project in reality. Our voices change as we get older, so it's only logical that would be the same for the inhabitants of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Talking tree or not, Groot shouldn't sound like a fully grown adult when he's supposed to be a youngster. And with a child-like voice, Baby Groot could endear himself even more to the audience.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
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