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There’s a very specific reason Baby Groot is in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

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It’s not just cause he’s cute

Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn has revealed why it was crucial Groot remain a baby in the film.

Gunn published a lengthy post on Facebook explaining that the decision to make Groot a baby was never a marketing ploy. Instead, Gunn said that he has troubles writing an adult Groot for the sequel, which he tried to do for quite some time. Then he came up with the idea of keeping Groot around as a baby, however, and giving the team something to have to take care of outside of themselves.

“Secondly, for whatever reason, Groot just wasn't working,” Gunn admitted. “It was then I came upon the idea of having Vol. 2 take place very shortly after the first film and for Groot to still be Baby Groot, with quite a lot to learn. Even though I had already long-ago decided on the other characters involved, this change opened up the whole movie for me and it suddenly all came together.”

Marvel

The director added that when he first brought the idea to Marvel, he was scared the studio would shut him down. Groot was the most popular character in the movie, and unlike the first film, which only introduced a few characters for audiences to learn, the sequel would be a little more condensed. When something works for a studio, like Groot, they’re more reluctant to let it go, according to Gunn.

But Gunn knew that he was onto something with Baby Groot. If the audience liked the character as much as he did, there would be a reason to make toys and create an entire line of merchandise off of him.

“All that said, I'm not an idiot,” Gunn wrote. “I knew if Baby Groot worked, the world would want Baby Groot toys and figures and plushies. But that certainly didn't seem like a certainty when I was alone in my office conceiving of a story, and it most definitely was not the driving force of the decision.”

Based on the reaction to Baby Groot in the first Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer, it looks like Disney has another winner on its hands.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 will hit theaters May 5, 2017.