GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 Director James Gunn Says Baby Groot Isn't All About The Toys

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 Director James Gunn Says Baby Groot Isn't All About The Toys

Some sceptic fans believe Baby Groot only exists to sell toys, but James Gunn has now explained why the character's transformation is actually a pivotal part of the story and not just a marketing ploy...

Marvel Studios and Disney didn't anticipate the reaction to Baby Groot at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, hence why they didn't have a lot of toys ready to go when the movie reached the big screen. That clearly won't be the case with the upcoming sequel, but there are some fans who believe that Groot has only been made this lovable because the people in charge have big ideas about making a lot of money from merchandise. That's understandable, but now James Gunn has weighed in on that.

Taking to his Facebook page, the filmmaker explained why he made the decision to use Baby Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, confirming that he originally planned on using an adult version of the sentient tree before realising that it would be better to set the sequel shortly after the first movie. 

Gunn also explains that he thought the inclusion of Ego the Living Planet would be a harder sell to Marvel Studio than Baby Groot, but admits that the thought of Baby Groot being a phenomenon crossed his mind. Still, it's now clear that toys weren't the main reason for these changes to the character in Vol. 2, but it's also clear that we're all going to be buying toys featuring him next year...


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.
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