Artist who designed Baby Groot leaves Marvel Studios

Anthony Francisco, the artist behind Baby Groot, and Black Panther's Dora Milaje leaves Marvel after nine years

Artist who designed Baby Groot leaves Marvel Studios

Anthony Francisco, a senior development artist at Marvel Studios, is leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe behind for a new chapter in his career. According to Deadline, the artist, best known for designing the cute Baby Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, is now moving to Dolphin Entertainment.

Dolphin Entertainment CEO and founder Bill O’Dowd announced that Francisco will be joining the company as a creative director, and will be in charge of developing various NFT (Non-fungible token) series. “Anthony Francisco has the distinct honour of designing some of the most cherished characters in today’s pop culture, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Dolphin family,” O’Dowd said. “With his talent and imagination already hard at work, I can say without question that Dolphin’s forthcoming NFT releases will be special and unique.”

Working on NFT’s is a jump from Francisco’s previous focus on big-budget films. During his nine years at Marvel, he worked on multiple characters and element designs, including Baby Groot, Loki, and the Dora Milaje in Black Panther. Outside of Marvel, his other Hollywood credits include The Hunger Games, and Snow White and the Huntsman.

However, it seems like Francisco is excited to venture away from blockbusters and into the world of NFTs. “NFTs are such an exciting new world for any visual artist,” he said. “I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity to establish a creative role that doesn’t already exist inside Dolphin Entertainment. The ideas are endlessly flowing, and it’s thrilling for a designer like myself to feel that anything is possible. I can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on with the world.”

While losing such a talented artist is a sad day for the MCU, fans can look forward to seeing Francisco’s work in some of the studio’s future instalments. The artist’s designs will be featured in Marvel’s upcoming films like Eternals, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and Thor: Love and Thunder.

If you are curious about more Marvel release dates, check out our guide to Marvel Phase 4.