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James Gunn Explains His Adorable Inspiration for 'Guardians of the Galaxy's' Groot and Rocket

By Cindy Davis | Industry | August 8, 2014 |

By Cindy Davis | Industry | August 8, 2014 |

Guardians of the Galaxy’s was developed after co-writer Nicole Perlman chose it from a stack of properties she was given after entering Marvel’s writer program. The film was loosely based on the comics, but both Perlman and James Gunn (who rewrote the script) affected character and story changes. What you might not know is that Groot and Rocket were personalized and kinda sorta genetifilmodified to bear resemblance to a certain Dr. Wesley Von Spears, aka “a fucking maniac.” And just who is this Von Spears, you might ask? Why, he’s Gunn’s adorable doggy and btw, go read the great adoption story of this little fella Gunn calls his “arch enemy and best friend:


Over at io9, they asked Gunn how Groot, who has quite a limited vocabulary, was made to connect with the audience.

“I think Groot is in some ways the easiest character to connect to in the film. He is, from the start, the only one that has some sense of others. And he has an innocence about him that is something that I don’t know if we relate to, because most of us don’t feel too innocent, but I think we love. Truthfully, a lot of Groot is based on my dog Von Spears. I think there’s a sort of puppy-like innocence to Groot. That if my dog could talk, it would probably say, ‘I am Groot’…His eyes look a lot like my dog’s eyes. That was a real, important thing. The eyes was the thing that I concentrated on the most. With him, and with Rocket actually. Really looking at the eyes and thinking about the eyes. Groot was actually probably easier than Rocket because Rocket’s eyes are a mixture of animal and human. It was a real delicate balance with him.”

From Gunn’s Instagram (which is a Guardians — and pet — treasure trove)


“In addition to using the real life Oreo Raccoon as a reference in creating Rocket, the folks at Framestore who developed the model of Rocket scanned Von Spears’ snaggle-toothed mouth to incorporate into Rocket’s.”


I am Groot von Spears?

Cindy Davis, (Twitter) is mad for this movie.

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