Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn Translates Groot in Some Cast Scripts

"I am Groot." (Translation: Guardians of the Galaxy writer and director James Gunn sometimes prints Groot's scripted dialogue so those who don't speak Groot can understand the tree-like alien.) As Rocket Raccoon (voice of Bradley Cooper) explains to Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) in the first Guardians of the Galaxy: "His vocabulistics is limited to 'I' and 'am' and 'Groot.' Exclusively, in that order." In the Marvel Studios franchise, Groot (voice of Vin Diesel) speaks in three words: "I am Groot," or on one special occasion, "We are Groot." But to those who can understand what Groot is saying, the character communicates like any other. 

Asked on Twitter if his scripts translate Groot's dialogue, Gunn tweeted, "In the scripts for crew and cast that don't understand Groot it says 'I am Groot.' But I also have scripts available for those who understand Groot with the translations in them."

Gunn clarified that "all the Guardians" understand Groot, adding: "It takes a certain amount of time and bonding to be able to understand him."

In 2015, Gunn said that Diesel was the only other person to receive "the special Groot script with translations of what he's saying." Gunn later tweeted the "Groot Version" of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 script that printed all of Groot's lines in English. 

Diesel, who records Groot's lines in multiple languages, has explained that Gunn's printed dialogue allows the actor to perform the lines rather than simply repeat the phrase "I am Groot." 

"I was really lucky, because I had a director who is willing to indulge and wanted to really capture all the nuances of this character," Diesel told at the red carpet premiere of 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. "What we know about Groot is that he's got a wooden larynx, so although he's saying other things other than 'I am Groot,' all the novice ears or someone oblivious to the nuances of his speech can hear is 'I am Groot.' It sounds like he's just repeating his name."

Diesel explained, "Because of that, when I came into the recording room, there was a fifty-page document that on the left-hand side that said 'I am Groot,' and on the right-hand side, it would have a paragraph or a sentence explaining what he was really meaning or what he was really trying to say. And so when you have that level of detail, when you have a director that committed ... all I have to do is spend a week there in the ADR booth breathing life into it." 


Diesel returned to voice the character in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, 2019's Avengers: Endgame, and most recently in Thor: Love and Thunder. The Fast and Furious star also voices Baby Groot in the animated shorts series I Am Groot and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, streaming soon on Disney+.

Starring Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Maria Bakalova as Cosmo the Spacedog, Will Poulter as Adam Warlock, Chukwudi Iwuji as the High Evolutionary, Vin Diesel as Groot, and Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens in theaters on May 5, 2023.