The first teaser and full trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 made us fall in love with Groot all over again. But did you know writer/director James Gunn almost wrote him as a fully-grown Groot instead of the adorable baby Groot in the trailer? As Gunn explained on Twitter, and expanded on in a Facebook post on Saturday, making the character still a baby opened up new ideas that made the screenwriting easier.
Referencing a headline from Entertainment Weekly — “Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Director Says Baby Groot Is Not a Marketing Ploy” — Gunn explained that he was originally going to set the movie years into the future, after Groot had grown up, but that would mean we wouldn’t see the newly-assembled Guardians develop their chemistry. Opening the film right after the first movie lets us see them go through that character development, even though Gunn worried the studio wouldn’t want him to change the character. He says he was less confident the studio would allow changes to Groot than they would go along with a character like Ego the living planet (Kurt Russell), even though Marvel’s initial reaction to Ego was reportedly “Oh, whoa. That’s risky, but okay.”
Here’s the even longer explanation Gunn posted on Facebook:
Was someone calling Baby Groot a marketing ploy? Who would insult this sweet baby angel? Let me at them.