James Gunn Reacts to Hawkeye's Surprising Guardians of the Galaxy Easter Egg

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Hawkeye logo, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton, Guardians of the Galaxy

Hawkeye is the latest entry in the small screen slate of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The sharpshooter series follows the post-Avengers: Endgame adventures of Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton as he tries to celebrate Christmas with his family, but the sudden arrival of Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop pauses the hero's holiday plans. 

Hawkeye is already halfway into its six-part narrative on Disney+, meaning that a brand-new selection of Easter eggs is present for viewers to unpack. The series didn't waste time in showcasing its connection to the larger MCU since its opening scene was a direct callback to the events of 2012's The Avengers. 

Other callbacks and references included a mention of Iron Man's first villain, a potential West Coast Avengers hint, and a Pym Technologies arrowhead. It is also worth noting that the third episode also featured several hints about the looming MCU debut of Wilson Fisk aka the Kingpin.

Now, it looks like a surprising MCU callback was also unveiled in Hawkeye

Hawkeye Includes Amusing Guardians Of the Galaxy Reference 

Hawkeye's second episode featured a fun nod to the Guardians of the Galaxy in an unexpected fashion. 

At the 15:39 mark of the episode, Clint Barton can be seen browsing his phone to research more about the fictional New York City LARPers. During his investigation, the Avenger was able to pull up the Larpers' Instagram account, and it shows an unusual follower:

Clint Barton, Hawkeye
Marvel Studios

Upon closer inspection, the account is shown to be followed by a user named “iamgr00t:"

I am Groot, Hawkeye
Marvel Studios

This development prompted one Marvel fan to ask Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn about Groot having a fan on Earth: 

"Someone on Earth has the Instagram username iamgr00t so people on Earth not only know who Groot is, but they know his saying. Wonder how that came to be. #HawkeyeSeries"

Gunn responded by jokingly saying that the account is probably owned by the "MCU version" of Rob de Groot, Dave Bautista's stunt double. The veteran filmmaker ended by admitting that "it's a cool Easter egg:"

"That’s probably the IG account of the MCU version of Rob de Groot, Dave Bautista’s stunt double. Unlike the real Rob, the MCU version is a total dick, has a posh British accent & a full, luscious head of hair. (Also, it’s a cool Easter egg.)"

Dave Bautista, Rob de Groot, Hawkeye


Hawkeye & its Unexpected Easter Eggs 

Hawkeye is filled with unexpected twists and turns, but many would agree that this Easter egg is unusual. 

It is unknown why the writers decided to place this Groot-related reference in the episode, but it's safe to assume that it was established as a fun callback. 

James Gunn's response is an amusing tribute to Dave Bautista's stunt double while acknowledging Hawkeye's Easter egg-filled installment. 

The fan's question is valid from an in-universe standpoint. Groot was only on Earth during two instances: Wakanda's last stand against Thanos during Avengers: Infinity War and the final battle of Avengers: Endgame

It remains to be seen if Groot mingled with humans after Endgame's climactic battle. If he did, then it's possible that Groot earned some fans along the way, meaning that this mysterious "iamgr00t" user is paying tribute to the Guardian of the Galaxy. 

It's also likely that Rocket Racoon was the one who introduced Groot to Earth. Rocket could've done it on two separate occasions: the five-year gap between Infinity War and Endgame and after the Avengers' victory over Thanos. 

Whatever the case, it's good to know that Groot and even the rest of the Guardians are recognized on Earth, thus serving as a welcome development when the group decides to seek refuge or visit the planet in the future. 

The first three episodes of Hawkeye are now streaming on Disney+. 

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.