Marvel's I Am Groot Releasing in Theaters, But With a Catch

Later this year Disney+ will debut Marvel Studios' animated series I Am Groot, a series of short-form videos starring the tiny talking tree as he gets into misadventures. Like every other MCU show on the streaming service it seemed like I Am Groot would only be available on that platform, but now it's been revealed that the series will play in some movies theaters, but there's a major catch. As noticed by The Direct, one episode of I Am Groot will play exclusively at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles (which is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company).

One episode of the series, title  "Magnum Opus," is set to screen ahead of specific showings of Thor: Love and Thunder at the Hollywood theater starting July 18th. Playing at the El Capitan for one week only, the I Am Groot short will only play ahead of one showing of the film, specifically "the 4:15pm showings on July 18 & 19, and the 1pm showings July 20-24." You can see the official poster for the short's appearance at the theater below.

Details about I Am Groot on the whole have not been confirmed by Marvel Studios. Unlike shows like Moon Knight, WandaVision, and Ms. Marvel, the series doesn't seem to be a very influential chapter on the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Guardians of the Galaxy architect James Gunn previously saying the shorts aren't part of the larger "saga" of the Guardians.

"They are animated shorts so not necessarily part of the Guardians saga," Guardians helmer and I Am Groot producer James Gunn confirmed on Twitter earlier this summer. In a follow up tweet, Gunn added that the shorts are "canon to themselves, I'd think."

So far Groot is the only character confirmed to appear in the show, but previously released storyboard art suggested that another one of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Drax, may appear in the shorts. Drax, like some of the other Guardians, previously appeared in Marvel's What If…? and it seems like he might also appear in the Groot series of shorts.

The I Am Groot series joins What If...? as Marvel Studios' animated offerings, soon they'll be joined by Marvel ZombiesSpider-Man: Freshman Year, and X-Men '97.

"I think if I told you about our animated plans, it would blow your mind," Marvel Studios Animation head Brad Winderbaum previously told "I mean, you're completely unbounded from any sort of rules, which is both the most exciting and the most daunting thing about it, because then you have to create your own rules. But I mean, it really is, in many ways, the purest interpretation of the imagination of the people behind it. There's an element of chaos in all things. There's an element of chaos in animation."

I Am Groot hits the Disney+ platform on August 10th. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is due to hit theaters May 5, 2023. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has yet to receive a release date but will debut this year.