The physiology of a sentient tree isn’t the sort of thing you’d typically expect to generate a lengthy discourse, but when Vin Diesel’s Groot sacrificed himself at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy before popping back up in the post-credits scene as a sapling, fans were left with a lot of questions as to how Rocket’s longtime running buddy had managed to be reborn.
It turns out that Baby Groot was technically an entirely new character, one that was admittedly born from the charred twigs of the adult version, but didn’t possess any of his memories. The youngster then went on to steal the show in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 before evolving into a typically antisocial teenager, which is presumably how we’ll find him in Vol. 3 so that James Gunn has the opportunity to play with the character during three very different stages of his life.
The filmmaker was recently answering fan questions on social media, and he confirmed that the fully grown Groot that audiences were first introduced to back in 2014 won’t be seen on the big screen again, unless someone decides to make a prequel.
“Sadly that original Groot is no longer with us. So unless there is a prequel of some type, we won’t see him again.”
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Baby Groot is already in line for his own animated spinoff on Disney Plus, while production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is expected to begin either towards the end of this year or the beginning of 2021, with the cosmic threequel loosely penciled in for a 2023 debut. It’s also set to mark Gunn’s last involvement with the band of intergalactic misfits, so unless Marvel Studios decide they want someone else to pick up the reins and handle more adventures, adult Groot will remain a distant memory.