Five years have passed since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was last in theaters. And, even though the MCU hasn't been exactly Guardians-less, nor does it intend to be given I Am Groot and the upcoming Holiday Special on Disney+, James Gunn's third (and final?) chapter is a tale MCU fans have been waiting a long time for. Fortunately, the cast and crew have been generous in sharing what to expect from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Set to be released on May 5, 2023, fans received their first look at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 at the 2022 San Comic-Con. James Gunn has teased an emotional story, and members of the cast have backed up that claim.
However, it seems that not all of the film's stars are up to date with the events of the film, particularly when it comes to the galaxy's favorite Flora Colossus: Groot.
James Gunn Settles Rumors on 'Alpha Groot'
Of all the Guardians, Groot is the best representation of how long MCU fans have been hooked on a feeling. After adult Groot sacrifices himself to save his newfound family, an infant Groot makes his debut at the end of the original film and then is a baby or toddler by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
In 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, fans are then introduced to Groot as a teenager, followed by his brief cameo in Thor: Love and Thunder where he appears slightly older.
So what about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?
Well, following an interview with Groot's voice actor Vin Diesel, where the actor claimed Alpha Groot was in store for the 2023 threequel, writer and director James Gunn refuted those claims, suggesting that the actor "means the most awesome Groot ever?" on Twitter:
"Haha no idea. Maybe he just means the most awesome Groot ever?"
Despite Gunn's efforts, that hasn't stopped fans from questioning him about Alpha Groot.
And, in a recent conversation online, the director attempted to put Vin Diesel's Alpha Groot tease to rest once more, explaining in a Tweet that "Vin was musing out loud" and the Comic-Con teaser showed the Groot the MCU is getting in Vol. 3:
"Vin was musing out loud - he hadn’t read Vol 3. What you saw at Comicon was Groot in Vol 3, and he’s not 'Alpha Groot.'"
But during this exchange, the director revealed that Groot may, in fact, be an adult at some point in Guardians of Galaxy Vol. 3. For instance, when a fan expressed that they would like to see the adult version of this Groot, Gunn responded with the following:
"Well you just might be in luck…"
Gunn also shared with fans how he and the cast deal with Groot's unique language barrier.
When asked if he translates Groot's lines in the script or if they just read "I am Groot," Gunn tweeted that scripts with translations are available "for those who don't understand Groot:"
"In the scripts for crew and cast that don’t understand Groot it says 'I am Groot.' But I also have scripts available for those who understand Groot with the translations in them."
In addition, when asked if all members of the Guardians can understand him now, Gunn posted, "Yes, all the Guardians understand him now" as well as some insight into how that came to be:
"Yes all the Guardians understand him now. It takes a certain amount of time and bonding to be able to understand him"
Alpha Groot Wasn't the Way to Go
Since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 looks to be the final Guardians film within the franchise, it's only fitting that Groot isn't an extreme version of himself.
Due to the emotional nature of the film, there has been speculation that Rocket may not survive; and since he has served as a father figure to Groot, perhaps dealing with that loss will play into Groot's own arc and his journey to adulthood?
Also, even though it seems that Vin Diesel's "Alpha Groot" comment wasn't meant to be literal, the fact that James Gunn freely engages with fans and is quick to shut down false rumors is something the MCU audience will miss if Vol. 3 turns out to be his last film with Marvel Studios.
While that remains to be, and hopefully won't be the case, fans can rest assured there's plenty of Guardians content on the way, as well as new questions to ask the director following the threequel's 2023 release.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters on May 5, 2023.