James Gunn Talks Flipping The Rocket-Groot Relationship

One of the more touching aspects of 2014's "Guardians of the Galaxy" was the close relationship between teammates Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Though he may have a tough furry exterior, Rocket truly cared for his oversized tree companion. With Groot still being pint-sized in this summer's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," director James Gunn discussed how the dynamic of their relationship is now flipped.

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"Rocket is the protector. Yeah, that's part of the story and the story being about families," Gunn revealed to ComingSoon.net. "It’s about Rocket really trying to… As I’ve said many times before, I relate to Rocket more than any of the other characters, and this is really about Rocket coming to terms with accepting his place within a group of people, which probably seemed like a good idea for two seconds when they were getting along and saving a planet. And now he’s just not very comfortable with the idea of being a part of this group, which come to think of it, is probably what I’m like with everything in making this movie."

This wasn't all that Gunn shared. WAsked which is easier to shoot -- Baby Groot or Adult Groot -- Gunn went with the sensation that's taken over the world.

"Quite honestly, I’d say Baby Groot, but the reason for that is unknown. A lot of times on the first movie we were like 'are we even putting Groot in this movie?'," Gunn said. "Because Shawn [Gunn] plays Rocket on set, and he’s so present as Rocket that you’re very aware of Rocket as a character. The guy playing Groot was a stand-in on the last movie and so he was there we just kind of always forgot he was there. He doesn’t talk very much, so you’re doing all these scenes and when we have the scenes in the movie where they turn to Groot and Groot’s like 'why are you forgetting me?' That’s really what we felt like while we were shooting the first film. And I think also, the whole personality of Groot and who he was, it was there on the page and then you forget about it while you were shooting the first movie. But now everyone knows Groot so well that we have much larger awareness, me and the cast, of a Baby Groot being there at all times. And him being one of the members in the scene. So it’s been much easier from that respect, but I’m not sure if it’s because Baby Groot is – I’ll say, yeah, I think he’s a better-written character then the first Groot in some ways. Not that he was poorly written at all, but I think he’s just more complete character."

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Written and directed by James Gunn, the sequel to Marvel’s 2014 hit picks up two months after the events of the first film, as the Guardians travel throughout the cosmos and struggled to keep their newfound family together, all while helping Pratt’s Peter Quill learn more about his true parentage.

Opening May 5, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” also stars Karen Gillan as Nebula, Sean Gunn as the Ravager Kraglin, Glenn Close as the Supreme Commander of the Nova Corps, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha and Chris Sullivan as the Ravagers leader Taserface.

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