Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has finally shared the emotional story of how Rocket met Groot. This episode was planned to be included in a short film that Gunn worked on for some time, but in the end the project was decided to be canceled.
I wrote a script for a short film about the beginning of a friendship between Rocket and Groot. The storyboard and location were ready, and we even shot some test shots in 12 days. But at that time I was too busy working on the first part of the Guardians. As for the short film, according to the plot, Tibius Lark, Groot and Rocket are imprisoned in an underground prison. Tibius was on the verge of death. He told Rocket that he had taken care of Groot for years.”
He was a former zookeeper at a crappy galactic zoo. He explained that he had saved Groot, who was there at the exhibit, and that Groot had become a true friend. He asked Rocket to take care of him and then died. As he was dying, Rocket looked down into the dark chamber and noticed that he was a robot: his lower body was mechanical and badly damaged.
The guards above the ground heard some kind of rumble, turned around and saw that Rocket and Groot were breaking out of the ground: Rocket was on Groot’s shoulder, and in the hands of Rocket was a machine gun made from the body of Tibius Lark, and he shot all the guards, and they fled and were together until they met the Guardians.
Although none of this was ever realized, Rocket became the protagonist of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Gunn emphasized that Rocket’s story was “the most important part” of the trilogy, and the wisecracking raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper, featured prominently in trailers leading up to the film’s release.