Vin Diesel has played some ridiculous characters on screen before that have ended up totally working, seemingly against very long odds. He’s been a car enthusiast who’s somehow morphed into something like a super-soldier. He’s played a night-visioned alien fighter. Heck, the dude has been a tree. So it’s not crazy to think he can play alongside a character that doesn’t appear to have any business getting a movie. But MovieWeb is reporting that Diesel is going to star in a movie about Rock’em Sock’em Robots. That’s right folks, this might be the craziest thing Diesel has taken on and that’s really saying something.
This new movie is going to be a collaborative effort between Mattel Toys and Universal Pictures and will put Vin Diesel in the lead role for the flick. Now, he’s not going to be getting into the actual punching suit, it doesn’t appear. Rather, it looks like his character will befriend? connect with? play with? an advanced technology that specializes in fighting. He will be part of a father and son team (he’s the father in this scenario) who connect with this war machine technology and then, presumably, begin bashing other war machine heads off.
If you are getting some cinematic deja vu from this Vin Diesel announcement, it wouldn’t be crazy. Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots, the game, came out all the way back in the 1960s though were popularized for kids in the 70s and 80s specifically. They feature two “robots” who line up against each other and the players push levers to move their arms to disconnect the opposition’s head. Back in 2011, Hugh Jackman-led Real Steel which had a decidedly Rock’Em Sock’Em vibe, but wasn’t directly tied to the brand.
And apparently, according to this latest announcement, Vin Diesel bringing Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots to the screen isn’t the only property Mattel has in mind when it comes to getting movies around it’s popular (though somewhat bygone) products. There are other conversations around such toys as Barbie, Masters of the Universe, Barney, Thomas and Friends, and even Viewmaster though it’s hard to know how that last one plays out in film form.
As for Vin Diesel, he’s been making the buzz rounds for the last couple of days with the recent release of the trailer for F9, the ninth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise. The trailer had everything you’d expect, and more, from a franchise that has only dialed things up to the nth degree over the years. The ever-increasing crazy action has led to ever-increasing profits and this is a franchise that is here to stay.
In addition to F9 which is slated to hit theaters this May, Vin Diesel has a few other high-profile films in the works as well. There’s Avatar 2 which is currently in post-production and slated for a 2022 release. Plus, he’s in pre-production for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in which he’ll reprise everyone’s favorite Groot. And he’s also going to get back into the Riddick role for Furya. So there’s plenty on his plate, and now he’s going to helm a popular game adaptation as well.