James Gunn Says Kevin Feige’s Original Baby Groot Theory Was Wrong; ‘He Obviously Knows Now’


  • Kevin Feige misunderstood Baby Groot’s connection to Old Groot, according to James Gunn.
  • Groot’s rebirth was initially thought to retain memories, but evolved into a new character.
  • Groot’s individuality was shown in
    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
    mid-credits scene.

James Gunn has clarified an old Kevin Feige theory about how Baby Groot and Old Groot were connected. Back in 2016, when Baby Groot was yet to make a full debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, there was still some confusion about how the new iteration of the character was linked to his predecessor, and it seems that Feige was one person who didn’t quite understand how Groot’s rebirth worked.

In 2015’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot gave his life to save the rest of the Guardians in the final act. Before anyone could really mourn the loss of the character, it became clear that Groot had left behind a little something that would grow into the Groot that fans would come to know over several future movies. The new shoot of Groot was seen to be turning into a fun-loving “baby” in the post credits scene of the movie, but according to Feige, at the time, this new version of Groot was able to recall the previous Groot’s memories.

When this subject was raised by a fan on Threads, Gunn did his usual clarification reply to explain that Feige simply did not understand the character of Groot when he made his comments. The question posed to Gunn was:

“Feige once asserted in 2016 that Baby Groot had old Groot’s memories, which seems to conflict with the father/son idea. Was there a creative difference there?”

In response, Gunn suggested that it was more a case of Feige not really knowing how Gunn planned on playing the character across his future appearances. He replied:

I think Kevin just didn’t understand at first. He obviously knows now.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Proved Groot’s Individuality

The idea that Baby Groot was simply a rebirth of the same Groot fans were introduced to in the first Guardians of the Galaxy outing was one that evolved over time. Having not seen old Groot as a younger character, some people argued that the new Groot could easily be the same character, growing again from a seedling but retaining the things he knew/had learned in the past. However, as Groot grew over the Guardians movies, and films like Avengers: Infinity War, it became apparent that this version of Groot was entirely his own character.

Any doubt about that came at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, when in the mid-credits scene, Rocket’s new team of Guardians included a version of Groot that had not only surpassed his predecessor’s size, but also had a very different aesthetic about him. However, that was not the only thing that had changed about Groot by the time the trilogy reached its conclusion. There was also the matter of that single line spoken by the character that the audience was able to understand.


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Following the release of his third and final Guardians movie, Gunn explained that the reason audiences heard Groot say “I love you guys” as opposed to his usual “I am Groot” is that they have followed the character’s journey long enough to be able to understand him in the way the Guardians do. This kind of transition was hinted at in the movie when newer characters were seen to begin understanding Groot after being around him for a certain amount of time. Of course, allowing audiences to understand Groot in those final moments does open up an issue if the Guardians return, as this would mean that Groot would have to continue to speak normally to retain that continuity.

For now, there are no upcoming MCU projects that are said to include the Guardians team, although they are fully expected to have some part to play in Avengers: Secret Wars along with many other returning characters from the last several years.

Guardians of the Galaxy
movies are currently available to stream on Disney+.