James Gunn Sets The Record Straight On Groot

James Gunn says Groot looks so different in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special because he is the son of the original Groot and an entirely different character.

By Matthew Creith | Published

Before James Gunn took over as co-CEO of DC Studios, the talented writer and director took charge of the Guardians of the Galaxy side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The new Disney+ special aptly entitled The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was released on the streaming platform during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and the third feature film installment of the franchise will debut next year. Some fans were confused by the depiction of the character Groot as newly swole in the special, but James Gunn took to Twitter recently to say that Groot was not the Groot presented in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and thus looks different.

Never one to shy away from talking to comic book fans directly on social media, James Gunn responded to a user’s request on Twitter to explain Groot’s new muscle-bound look. The director explained that he’s not the same Groot as his predecessor father from the original Guardians of the Galaxy, stating matter of factly that the character is “his progeny & a totally different Groot.” The character is voiced by actor Vin Diesel, and according to Screen Rant, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe noted Groot’s change in appearance in the post-credits sequence in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

Appearing taller than ever before, Groot’s transformation has been several projects in the making, and one that James Gunn has paid attention to for close to a decade. James Gunn originally introduced Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, but he was killed off by saving the group that consists of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and Bradley Cooper as Rocket. Rocket ended up planting his body, which grew to be Baby Groot, a fan favorite in the franchise that has starred in multiple projects within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Several movies of James Gunn’s and the Russo Brothers have featured the newer Groot, including a teenage version equipped with a bit of an attitude and a little growing up left to do. Used in recent years primarily for comedic effect, the character of Groot is still a longstanding member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and his muscular self might be an integral part of the third and final installment next year. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be Gunn’s last for Marvel Studios and, as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Five, the movie will feature new actors in addition to the old gang of favorites, including Elizabeth Debicki, Will Poulter, and Maria Bakalova.

James Gunn’s clarification about Groot comes at a time of great transformation for the noted director, who has already taken to his new role with DC Studios. After helming The Suicide Squad in 2021, Gunn has committed to being the co-chairman and co-CEO of DC Studios at the request of Warner Bros. Discovery. DC will continue to go through changes of its own in the not-so-distant future, with several notable titles coming to movie theaters like Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and The Flash.