Memorizing his lines is certainly a cinch for Vin Diesel in the Guardians of the Galaxy films, given that his character, the all-CGI tree alien Groot, speaks only one word: his own name. Of course, at the end of the first film (Spoiler!), Groot sacrificed himself only to be reborn as an infant version, meaning Diesel will now be tasked with bringing vocal life to “Baby Groot” in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. And according to the actor, that’ll mean saying his single word, over and over again, in a whole new way.
While doing press for Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which just premiered at the New York Film Festival ahead of its Nov. 11 national release, Diesel gave Collider a few tidbits about the new tack filmmaker James Gunn is taking for Groot.
“Yeah, there is a difference,” Diesel said. “He couldn’t be more naive as Baby Groot. I always think of the Groot that we saw on the first Guardians as a college-level Groot, so he’s not fully grown yet, but he’s a man. And once he sacrifices himself at the end of the movie, now he has to start all over, so to speak, but we’re gonna see this goofy, adorable, baby Groot thing running around the screen and just learning as he goes.”
In a Facebook post last month, Gunn addressed Diesel’s vocal duties, and the main question he’s received about it, in typical humorous fashion:
“- Is Vin Diesel doing baby Groot’s voice?
– How the hell is that gonna happen? Vin’s voice is deep.
Vin is an actor and capable of doing many voices. His Carol Channing is famous in Hollywood.”
He tweeted about it in September too:
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) September 4, 2016
Baby Groot will likely be a center of attention throughout Vol. 2, and thus there’s no doubt Diesel is working very, very hard to make sure he brings a newfound playfulness to his many utterances of “Groot” — a job that, as he told The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (also via Collider), he’ll be doing in as many as 16 languages, for the various international versions of the sequel.
And while there’s no current talk of Diesel’s character branching off into a solo outing, Gunn did tweet yesterday that there’s a character he’d really like to see get her own film: Karen Gillan’s Nebula, who’ll return in Vol. 2, and whom the director has apparently always eyed for a stand-alone project.
I have a few favorites myself, but I agree that Nebula should lead her own film – it's something I've thought about from the beginning. https://t.co/lyPAA6Hyxw
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 16, 2016
Fans will get a chance to experience Diesel’s reborn performance, as well as the novel direction charted by Gunn, when Vol. 2 lands in theaters on May 5, 2017.
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Profile: Groot: