Marvel fans who braved the long lines and sweltering humidity to make it into Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con last Saturday were rewarded with a star-studded panel that featured the cast of Black Panther, the first look at Spider-Man Homecoming, and an extended clip from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. While there were plenty of things happening on the stage (and the screen) that would quickly be dissected on the blogosphere, most would probably agree that Baby Groot was the star of Marvel’s presentation.
After making his first appearance during the final moments of the original film, many fans – myself included – assumed that Baby Groot would eventually grow up to his towering form, but that’s not the cast at all. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 picks up just a few months after the events of the previous film, and while Groot is certainly larger than the dancing sapling we saw last time, he’s nowhere close to his original size. In fact, with his large head and wide eyes, he bears a striking resemblance to a living Funko Pop figure.
There have been questions among fans about whether or not this is the same Groot from the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, or if this might be a new creature altogether. Does Baby Groot still remember the escapades that Groot and Rocket embarked on, or has the slate been wiped clean? Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige attempted to clear this up in a recent chat with Collider:
“He remembers. He’s not mentally a baby, he is still Groot… I sort of equate it to Spock circa the end of Search for Spock and The Voyage Home.”
And with the relationship between Groot and Rocket being such a key component of the first film, Feige was quick to assure fans that this dynamic would be alive and well in the sequel:
“When it comes to a Guardians of the Galaxy film, a James Gunn script, it’s not just about the funny, it’s not just about the action, it’s about the heart. And the amount of heart that you get out of this trash panda raccoon and now this little twig baby Groot is actually awe-inspiring. It is amazing what he’s done with those two characters.”
While the footage shown in Hall H won’t be appearing online – director James Gunn recently explained that many of the effects shots were unfinished and not meant for public consumption – there’s a strong possibility that the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be attached to Marvel’s next release, Doctor Strange, which hits theaters on November 4. In fact, I wouldn’t be too surprised if the trailer pops up online a few days in advance.
As for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it’s scheduled to hit theaters on May 5, 2017.
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