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Guardians Of The Galaxy Director Confirms Adult Groot Won’t Come Back

James Gunn seemingly confirms that the version of adult Groot fans saw in Guardians of the Galaxy won’t be coming back in the third film.

Adult Groot from the first Guardians of the Galaxy film won’t come back, James Gunn has confirmed. As underdogs of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, no one expected The Guardians, a rag-tag team of misfits, to have such a profound effect on audiences. The most popular of these misfits has been Rocket Raccoon’s bodyguard and right-hand bipedal tree, Groot. Groot captured people’s hearts with his seemingly innocent nature and limited vocabulary. After uttering “we are Groot” and sacrificing himself to save his fellow Guardians, fans were saddened by the death of a character they had just grown to know and love.

Following the Battle of Xandar, Rocket used part of Groot’s destroyed body to plant a new Groot. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 featured the dancing toddler known as Baby Groot (a pop culture phenomenon that arguably jump-started a babyfication trend). Many thought that Baby Groot was born via reincarnation, undermining and making the original’s demise easier to accept. By Avengers: Infinity War, Baby Groot had grown into a pubescent teenager, leading to the assumption that this version of Groot would become an adult by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. That said, Gunn has since clarified (on multiple occasions) that this Groot and the original are different characters. Still, fans have wondered if the adult Groot they fell in love with nearly seven years ago would ever return.

Gunn recently hosted yet another Q&A session on Instagram. One fan asked when and if we would get to see Groot’s adult form again to which Gunn replied, “Sadly that original Groot is no longer with us. So unless there is a prequel of some type, we won’t see him again.” Check out the comment from his story below.

At this point, the fact that the original Groot is dead shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, being that the question concerns Groot’s adult form and not necessarily the differing characters, it’s unclear if Gunn is just dodging spoilers or insinuating that the adult form we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy actually won’t be returning. Groot’s voice actor, Vin Diesel, once said that we haven’t seen full-grown Groot yet within the MCU – Guardians of the Galaxy’s iteration of Groot “was a freshman in college” while Baby Groot is in nursery school. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to take place after Avengers: Endgame and Thor: Love and Thunder – irrespective of the blip, Groot will be older.

Diesel has referred to the Groot we will be seeing next as “Alpha Groot.” Given everything he’s been through, the next time we see Groot he’ll likely be larger, tougher, and wiser than ever before. Not only does keep things fresh (a different live-action version of Groot in basically every film) but it doesn’t undermine the original Groot’s death; if we never him again, even a resemblance, then his sacrifice retains its finality and gravitas. This is not to say that we won’t see Guardians of the Galaxy’s adult Groot in a spinoffs with Rocket or something similar to Disney+’s I Am Groot. Regardless, with principal photography beginning later this year, we can look forward to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s version of Groot – one that presumably pays homage to the iterations that preceded it.