Every new MCU appearance of the Guardians of the Galaxy means one important thing: a new version of Groot. The alien tree monster has gone through various permutations since he first appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2014.
So what will Groot look like in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3? We may finally know thanks to a very unlikely source. Warning! Fun spoilers ahead.
Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that this leak, while coming from a verified source (James Gunn himself), is fairly circumstantial. We should also point out that Groot appears briefly in the trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder and he looks the same as he did when we last saw the Vin Diesel-voiced tree in Avengers: Endgame. (Unless this is more Marvel trailer trickery.)
However, if you were worried that Groot had reached full maturity, you can rest easy. In a recent tweet, James Gunn shared the crew gift given to everyone who worked on the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special. It’s a series of tree ornaments featuring various characters from the franchise, and one stands out in particular.
Take a closer look at the image of Groot in the photo below. Notice anything interesting? Is this the “Alpha Groot” they warned us about?
That’s right, Groot is buff now. The once-skinny sapling has apparently grown into a full-blown tree. (And wrapped in lights, no less). Of course, this isn’t official confirmation of a new Groot design, but it seems unlikely that Disney would create a new version of Groot that has nothing to do with his MCU depiction — even as a crew gift.
The other big question is whether Groot’s holiday look will carry over to Guardians 3. Again, we have to assume the answer is yes. As far as we know, this holiday special is being filmed at the same time as the new movie, so it’s unlikely a large amount of time will have passed between the two stories.
By all accounts, it seems like by the time Guardians 3 rolls around, we’ll be dealing with a super-buff Groot who’s just as strong as the original version we met in 2014 — or maybe even stronger.
Guardians of the Galaxy vol 3. is set to premiere on May 5, 2023.