James Gunn Explains Groot’s Drastic Changes In the MCU

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Groot comparison

Ever since his debut in The Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot has undergone some drastic changes over his years in the MCU, something that James Gunn offered some further explanation to.

At first, Vin Diesel’s living tree was a massive 12 feet tall; after dying, his new “child” went from pot-sized to baby and then teenage Groot. Now, in the recently released Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, he’s an extremely stocky, young adult Groot.

While some expected to get adult Groot back not long after his sacrifice in Vol. 1., he’s instead gone through quite the prolonged growth.

Groot, Marvel movies

Now, Gunn helped explain his most recent evolution.

Gunn Helps Explain Groot

In some new Tweets following the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, director James Gunn helped explain the drastic changes to Groot.

In response to a fan “wondering if Groot's head is so big because he's still growing into it,” director James Gunn offered an explanation.

Groot Holiday Special

According to him, the goal was to show Groot “getting bigger, outward as well as upward:”

“Well, YA Groot, or Swoll Groot, as we call him, is getting bigger, outward as well as upward. As you can see by now, he has a different, stockier physiology (and a more outgoing personality) than his father did.”

When a fan praised the Holiday Special for making Groot practical, the filmmaker corrected him, noting that he is “created solely… [by] incredible VFX artists:”

“Groot was created solely by our incredible VFX artists, but thank you (and I'm sure they find that you think it was practical very encouraging!).”

Reiterating to another fan, Gunn gave credit to the VFX teams at Framestore and Weta Digital:

“Swoll Groot is 100% computer generated thanks to the fine folks at @Framestore & @weta_digital.”

How Will Swoll Groot Hold Up?

There’s no denying that Groot’s new look in both the Holiday Special and Vol. 3 is a unique one, to say the least. But how will it hold up against the all-time classics of his original and baby designs?

No matter what one thinks of the new look, it’s great to hear how Gunn has really thought through how he’s designing his characters in each new outing. While that may seem like a given, especially considering the filmmaker’s successful past, it’s always good to hear it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

But what will his next evolution be after James Gunn has officially left Marvel and begun bringing a better DCU to life? Maybe fans will finally see adult Groot once again.

That is, assuming the flora survives the next adventure.

- In This Article: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release Date
May 05, 2023
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.