A few weeks ago, Vin Diesel was quite candid about taking a meeting with Marvel Studios, hinting that he might appear in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film as one of their comic book characters. While Marvel fans speculated that Diesel might play Dr Hank Pym (AKA Ant-Man) or the Ultron-created cyborg Vision, it turned out that The Fast & the Furious superstar will voice the treelike alien Groot in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. In a recent interview with THR, Vin Diesel opened up about how it all came together with Marvel Studios. Apparently, Marvel wanted Diesel to star in his own film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three. Diesel explained that he is just too busy to star in his own film. He will soon be starring in the upcoming seventh installment in The Fast & the Furious franchise. Diesel says:
What can I say about Groot? I can say something about Marvel. I take my hat off to them for being so creative and thinking outside of the box. [The focus of our initial conversation was] a fresh IP (intellectual property) that would come out in 2016 or 2017, and potentially launch the third phase.
After the Diesel rumors were flying during San Diego Comic-Con, it was clear that Marvel fans wanted to see Vin Diesel in a Marvel movie sooner rather than later, so the actor and Marvel decided to work out something else. Diesel continues:
With my schedule, it was almost impossible to imagine I could do anything immediate. I guess after they watched Iron Giant, or whatever, they came up with this idea of taking the strangest Marvel character — or the strangest Marvel character that’s ever hit film — and thought what I could do with that with motion capture and with my voice. Now it’s just up to my reps to allow that to happen.
So it appears that Vin Diesel will not only provide the voice for Groot, but he’s also providing the CG character’s motion capture. Groot wasn’t the first completely CG character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When Mark Ruffalo was cast in the role of Bruce Banner/The Hulk in The Avengers, he did a majority of “the big guy’s” motion capture performance, along with providing his voice. It’s going to be interesting to see how Diesel’s schedule will balance Fast & the Furious 7 and Guardians of the Galaxy, since both films are due in theaters in the summer of 2014.
As for Guardians of the Galaxy, actor Bradley Cooper is the latest rumored to voice the lovable Rocket Raccoon in the Marvel movie. If it proves to be true, then Cooper would join Diesel, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista as the final piece of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Director James Gunn describes Guardians of the Galaxy as being about “a U.S. pilot who ends up in space in the middle of a universal conflict and goes on the run with futuristic ex-cons who have something everyone wants.” The film is currently in production, and it also stars Benicio del Toro, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, Olivia Lovibond, John C. Reilly, and Glenn Close as Nova Prime.
Guardians of the Galaxy will hit theaters everywhere on August 1, 2014.