Watching Avengers: Infinity War from the sidelines must be a pretty strange experience for James Gunn.
He is, after all, the writer-director behind Guardians of the Galaxy and its rip-roaring sequel, one who helped pave the way for Star-Lord and Co. – namely Gamora, Groot, Drax and Rocket Racoon – to be enshrined in not only the MCU, but popular culture in general.
Fast forward to 2018 and James Gunn has now handed over control of his space-faring A-holes to Joe and Anthony Russo, the filmmaking duo behind Infinity War and the currently untitled Avengers 4. That’s not to say that Gunn wasn’t involved whatsoever, as he’s still listed as an executive producer on Avengers: Infinity War – and, presumably, its 2019 sequel.
Still, being on the sidelines while the Guardians form an alliance with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes must have been pretty surreal for James Gunn, and nowhere is this character change more apparent than in the rejuvenated Groot, who is fast approaching adolescence when Infinity War kicks off.
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It’s just one of the many evolutions expected to take place in Avengers: Infinity War, as last night’s breathtaking Super Bowl stinger included shots of Iron Man and his Model-Prime armor and Captain America’s dual shields. Bucky Barnes is sporting a slightly new look, too, having spent an extended period of time within Wakanda’s cryogenic chambers. You can thank Shuri (Black Panther) for altering Bucky’s brain chemistry, which ought to bring about the end of the Winter Soldier once and for all.
As for Groot, he’s placed in the company in the Guardians once again, only this time, they’ll be crossing paths with the God of Thunder himself, Thor, who was last seen making tracks for home at the tail-end of Ragnarok.
That post-credits scene in question included a brief look at Thanos’ imposing warship, the Sanctuary II. Its destination? Earth, and that’s when Avengers: Infinity War will get going in earnest.