Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s Main Plot Was Almost Used for a Rocket and Groot Movie

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s Main Plot Was Almost Used for a Rocket and Groot Movie

Before James Gunn directed the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, he already had the plot for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in his head. Now, to be fair, he didn’t know there would be a third film at the time; back then, he didn’t even know if the first film would work. But before he ever shot a second of the 2014 original, Gunn knew the backstory and origin of Rocket Raccoon, which he finally brings to life in this week’s Vol. 3.

“My pathway into the Guardians initially was Marvel talked to me about perhaps doing Guardians of the Galaxy,” Gunn told Gizmodo in Los Angeles this week. “They actually had some art already done with Rocket in it. And I thought, ‘Boy, this can be goofy. This could be like Bugs Bunny in the middle of The Avengers.’ I’m like, ‘How can I not make it goofy?’”

“And I thought about, ‘Well, ok, if there was a talking space raccoon, how would he have come to exist?’ And as I mused upon it, I started thinking about how this was the saddest creature in the universe, and that was actually the seed to me for the entire Guardians trilogy. That was my way into it, this underpinning of just isolation and sadness, and all of these characters are isolated and sad. So I knew what Rocket’s backstory was from that moment before I had come up with the rest of that stuff for Vol. 1. It was the first thing I came up with.”

When you realise you almost got a team up movie... (Image: Marvel Studios)
When you realise you almost got a team up movie… (Image: Marvel Studios)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 tells two stories simultaneously. One is set in the present, and follows the current Guardians going on an adventure to save an ailing Rocket. The other traces Rocket’s origins in flashback. It’s kind of The Godfather Part II in that way. And Gunn explained why, despite him knowing Rocket’s backstory for years, he held it until now.

“I always thought it was a third movie thing because I thought we had to tell Peter Quill’s story first and then get into Rocket’s story,” Gunn said. “I think the only question was, was it going to be a Rocket and Groot movie or was it going to be Guardians 2 — because initially, I was going to do it as Rocket and Groot.”

Gunn previously mentioned a Rocket and Groot movie several years ago, but that was going to be a short film. It was written, storyboarded, and some footage was even shot as part of an elaborate but ultimately scrapped plan to introduce the Guardians to audiences before the first film. However, it’s unclear if the movie Gunn is referring to here is that short film or another spin-off.

Nevertheless, a Rocket and Groot movie never happened. What did happen was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is in theatres this week. Check back later this week for our full chat with Gunn.

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