I Am Groot Producer Clarifies Whether the Shorts are All Canon to MCU

I Am Groot will debut on Disney+ tomorrow with little adventures of Baby Groot. The series comprises five shorts wherein Baby Groot finds himself in fresh trouble each time. The series is not in direct continuation of the ongoing shared storyline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Groot in the MCU timeline grew into a rebellious ‘teenager’ long before Avengers: Infinity War, this series will feature the same innocent Baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Earlier, GOTG Trilogy director James Gunn clarified that I Am Groot takes place in somewhat an alternate timeline and not in the official MCU canon. However, producer Brad Winderbaum has clarified that it’s not the case and that the shorts will be a part of the MCU continuity. The series will act as a direct continuation of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. All shorts will take place during the period before Groot developed into a video-game addict.

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In regards to the show’s place in the MCU, Winderbaum said (via ComicBook.com),

It’s a narrow window, right? It takes place between the end of Guardians 2 and before the tag scene in Guardians 2.

In GOTG Vol. 2, a series of post-credits sequences included the reveal of Groot’s grown-up form, wherein the rest of the Guardians acted as his ‘guardians.’ Groot’s arc was later continued in Avengers: Infinity War, at the end of which he was blipped. I Am Groot will be set between the end of GOTG Vol. 2 and the post-credits of the same movie.

So it’s in this narrow window where Groot is in that kind of post-toddler stage of development. And it was something that really excited, James, and James also knew Kirsten [Lepore]’s work and was excited about working with her as well.

James Gunn Was Actively Involved in I Am Groot

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According to director Kirsten Lepore, James Gunn had several inputs during the series’ development. Both Gunn and Lepore came up with the idea of having an additional focus on Baby Groot’s expressions, given his limited facial features.

I remember him telling me like, oh yeah, he’s a bad baby. And also he’s like an emoji guy, which cracked me up. And I kept repeating that in meetings. I was like, we gotta make sure that we’re just nailing these poses and facial expressions because you know, all he has is two eyes and a mouth. He doesn’t even have a nose, it’s a very limited face.

I Am Groot’s five episodes will be covered in a total run time of twenty-five minutes. Though there won’t be direct connections between the shorts and other MCU projects, Brad Winderbaum suggests that the series will have a place in the MCU’s officially canon shared continuity. The series will voice-star Vin Diesel in the primary role, who will reprise his role in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which will conclude the team’s arc in the franchise.