Guardians of the Galaxy: Vin Diesel Discusses Groot & Playing An ‘Interesting’ Marvel Character

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Vin Diesel Fast and Furious 6 close up Guardians of the Galaxy: Vin Diesel Discusses Groot & Playing An Interesting Marvel Character

Just a few weeks before Comic-Con International kicked off in San Diego in July, Vin Diesel took to social media to declare that Marvel Studios had requested a meeting with him. He seemed unsure of it all but the fandom provided the “push” needed to – we can safely assume – land him a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the the timing of it all, it seemed a certainty that whatever character Diesel was in discussions for would be introduced in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, currently shooting in London.

When Diesel first started publicly discussing a potential Marvel gig we theorized that he’d be playing the voice of either Groot (a walking, talking tree) or the villainous Thanos (the grinning purple guy from the mid-credits scene of The Avengers) , but after teasing imminent “big news,” and the idea of playing a character involved in a “different kind of love story,” his posting of a picture of Groot to his Facebook wall over the weekend seemingly clinched the deal.

Diesel was present at a Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. luncheon earlier today and LA Times’ Hero Complex had a chance to ask him directly about why he’d play an odd and obscure character such as Groot.

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Production Art 570x370 Guardians of the Galaxy: Vin Diesel Discusses Groot & Playing An Interesting Marvel Character

“I’m an actor. I can do whatever the … I want. As an actor, not everything has to be the most obvious choice. And sometimes, the best thing you can do — as far as Steven Spielberg and his advice — is to defy expectations. So if everybody thinks you’re going to go for this one thing and you flip it entirely and go for the strangest Marvel character, it’s interesting. And when something is interesting, it’s inspiring.”

Is this confirmation that Marvel sold Diesel on playing a tree who’s best pal is a raccoon who loves heavy weapons? As for the buzz-generating image drop on Facebook:

“I get inspired by things. So if somebody sends me a book of conceptual art that’s the best character design work I’ve ever seen — I’m not kidding, I see that and I want to be a little cryptic and I want to say something positive. Even if it’s as cryptic as an old, dated image of a character.”

Joss Whedon knew during production on The Avengers what he wanted to do for the sequel (which we now know is The Avengers: Age of Ultron) and so it makes us wonder if preliminary talks (or gauging of interest) occurred between Marvel and Vin Diesel for the role of Ultron or Vision after The Avengers hit theaters and broke records worldwide. That would explain why – like the image drop of Groot on Sunday – Diesel posted a comic illustration of Vision on his Facebook briefly last August.

New Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Logo Guardians of the Galaxy: Vin Diesel Discusses Groot & Playing An Interesting Marvel Character

While not flat out confirming that he is voicing Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, Diesel talks about the fan response on his Facebook page about anything Marvel related. He doesn’t quite understand it and despite not having the schedule to play one of the leads or key supporting live-action roles, he credits Marvel for coming up with something “really interesting” for him to do, and part of that will undoubtedly be his ability to help market the film via his 45+ million Facebook fans. On whether or not Marvel in all of their secrecy is concerned about him posting an image of Groot on his wall, Diesel responded “the last thing they are is mad,” and later followed it up by saying part of the appeal of having him aboard “maybe because I’m the kind of guy who will put up a post [on Facebook] that’s different.”

Diesel does seem genuinely interested in the voice role and even though most incarnations of the Groot character in Marvel Comics involve limited speech, he can own it, make it his, and make it popular through his own means. That is, assuming we aren’t all being played and Diesel is playing another character like Thanos… Now we wait to find out who’s voicing Rocket Raccoon.

Guardians of the Galaxy is directed by James Gunn off of his script co-written by Nicole Perlman. It stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Benicio del Toro, John C. Reilly, and Glenn Close.

_____

Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!

Source: Hero Complex

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TAGS: guardians of the galaxy

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  1. Just get on with it and tell us who he’s playing already so we can all get on with our lives!

    • Exactly!
      He said at the end of July big news would be coming and there was nothing.
      WE JUST WANT TO BE TOLD WHO HE IS PLAYING!!!! Is that too much to ask?

      • It seems Diesel is learning from the Team Aqua panelists from [adult swim] and that’s to make things up. Give fake dates and role info to the audience just to make them feel better and/or throw them off.

        I wouldn’t put it passed him.

        What he said above, doesn’t answer anything lol

  2. He pretty much confirmed he’s Groot, Why not voice Thanos??

  3. If he says anything more than “I am Groot” – I will be disappointed

    • It might be Schwartzeneggar playing the tree-man, if all he has to say is three words…!

    • If they have Groot suddenly start pontificating on the virtues of being a plant, so help me…….

    • I don’t have a problem if they let groot say a lot more. It could make him a more interesting character. It’d be cool if Groot dies at the end, but Rocket Raccoon takes a cutting fom his body. Then we see Rocket in a bar drinking with a pot with a tiny Groot cutting sprouting. “What’s that buddy?”, says Rocket. He leans down and Groot whispers “I am Groot!” in Rocket’s ear. “Yes you are.” replies Rocket and pours a vodka shot into Groot’s pot.

  4. I hope its not Groot. Vin Diesel needs to play like a Drax type character or something.

    • Sadly that role (who he would have been perfect for) went to the musclebound rookie actor. At least Diesel does have enough acting ability to pull off action roles believably.

      ah well.

  5. So vin diesel is gonna be the Hodor of the marvel universe? I’m a little disappointed…

    • But Hodor is the man.

      • Hodor.

        • “Hodor”—-how a prostitute enters her house.

          • hahahahah!

  6. I still say, I find it hard to believe they would spend the money on Vin Diesel(Disney is notoriously cheap) and have him voice a character with a three word vocabulary.

    This is all being done to distract from his actual role.

    • @il princerino, Haha! Put a +1 on that!

    • Agreed! +9000!

  7. Lol Diesel, “I’m an actor. I can do whatever the … I want.”

    He is soo messing with us. He’s either Thanos or possibility Rocket.

    I remember Gunn saying how much he’s excited for who he wants as Rocket and he has someone special in mind but held back saying the actor’s name bcuz it wasn’t official and he also wanted everyone to be surprised.

    • *Edit*

      ****possibly****

  8. I’m not believing anything until it’s confirmed by the studio or Gunn…i still think he should be the voice of Ultron.

  9. He states the character has a love interest so is it more likely Groot or Vision?

    • I guess it could be Thanos in reference to Death, but I wouldn’t expect Marvel to be casting hat role so soon unless Thanos gets good screen time in Guardians.
      PS: who is the all black character with the covered face in Thor TDW? Is that Death?

      • Are you talking about malekith the accursed or maybe you mean heimdall?

        • I think he means Kurse.

    • I reckon he’s playing Ultron. Ultron gets the hits for the Scarlet Witch. Kidnaps said Scarlet. Avengers to the rescue. Destroy Ultron. Hank Pym makes Vision. Vision & Scarlet live happily ever after. Ergo Vin the man playing the Vision in The Ant Man film. Continuity and all that. Well you get the gist.
      By the way I can’t remember the full story ark of Ultron & Vision, it’s been ages since I read it, but it could work. Vin playing anything, apart from Groot, is just a waste. I think.

  10. He’s Thanos come on now he’s just toying with everyone.

  11. So diesel is playing a tree? Not so unique…when George W. was in office as president, there were always a million Democrats trying to play a “Bush”! (hee-hee, thank goodness I’m a Republican!)

    • lame

      • Here’s one lamer:
        Democrats don’t like sex. I have heard a number of them in the past saying they don’t want any “Bush”!

        • Don’t quit your day job… unless your day job is being a comedian… in which case, quit, move to an isolated part of Canada, and get work as a lumberjack ;)

          • Maybe Goldilocks is Adam Sandler?

            Makes sense, right?

        • Dude, if they are right, you GOTTA quit taking every role you are offered for a quick buck! Have a little pride for hell sakes.

  12. Not surprised one bit, chris evans only received 300k for captain america and to get diesel in as a live action character would cost more then everyone combined. Iam sure that zoe saldana is probably the highest paid of whole
    cast due to avatar and star trek.

    • I think the guild minimum is a little higher than that, have any sources?

  13. Why did they change this website and have all these ads? Its annoying. Oh yeah I would enjoy vinny in a marvel movie. this movie is going to be sick.

    • Extra money to maintain servers etc probably. It’s normal for a non-profit website, keeps things free so we don’t have to pay membership subscriptions for news or to comment.

      AdBlock Plus if the ads annoy you that much.

  14. I’m down for whoever he plays.

  15. Is he gonna Mo cap Groot?

  16. If Vin gets the roll voicing Groot he’ll do amazingly because he voiced the Iron Giant in ”The Iron Giant” whos similar to Groot in a way.

  17. They hired a movie star to say 3 words??? Doubtful. I still hope he’s not in guardians, he’s wrong for Thanos and Rocket, whom Gunn already said will be British.

    • How’s Diesel’s British accent?

    • Do you have the article where Gunn says RR will be British?
      I remember him saying he had someone special in mind for these voices but I do not remember him saying he was British! I think you are referring to all the comments from people wanting a British actor, because I certainly do not remember him (GUNN) getting that specific!

  18. I still think he’s going to play Vision. He looks like him, he sounds how I always pictured Vision to sound and since Vision started as a creation of Ultron (and therefore a villain, Vin said he wanted to play someone who starts as a villain and becomes a hero, sounds like Vision to me) and married Scarlet Witch then that still makes more sense to me than him playing Groot, Ultron or Thanos.

    Especially when Thanos is already played by Damon Poitier and I really don’t see a point in recasting him, especially if Whedon gets first choice on his cast and decides to keep someone he’s worked with before The Avengers as Thanos.

    But yeah, Vin’s messing with us.

    Maybe he’s gonna be Groot AND Vision?

    • @Dazz, Him playing both Groot AND Vision, that I can see. It’ll be one of those instances where we see him as Vision and not realize he also did the voice of Groot… until we look it up on IMDB years later to win some arguments.

      With Disney being wise with money, this idea of playing both is a possibility.

    • No, he doesn’t look live Vision.

      Paul Bettany however DOES.

      • booo, live – like

        stupid spell checker replacing my misspells with the wrong one ><

      • Good call. AND he already has the voice :)

        • I might be able to get past the near sacrilegious Pym wrote out if they make Bettany Vision…..might (but I will still not be happy about the whole thing)

  19. Vin Diesel is the queen of spin and self promotion, he should work for the government!

    A VoiceOver is probably a good career direction for him, The Iron Giant is still his best work IMO

  20. I think Vin Diesel would work much better as Rocky Racoon. I mean come on…Racoon is basically Vin Diesel in his most bad-ass. He would be a perfect fit for it…and this is why he posted a picture of Groot, which is Rockey’s best friend

    • Rocket?

      • Missle? Satellite? Sputnick?

    • @nick, Good call, I was thinking about that when I was reading the report. Therefore I’d have to agree. Diesel might be Rocky.

      • I’m pretty sure Stallone is still Rocky

        • If you’ve read the comics, Pete sometimes calls Rocket, “Rocky” and Rocket calls Groot, “My ol’ buddy ol’ pal” and Peter Quill, “Pete.”

  21. I think Dazz might be on to something. Maybe they’ll do something like with John Rhys Davies in Two Towers playing Gimli and voicing Treebeard. It’s a waste of money for Diesel to voice Groot, but at the same time, you need an actor who can give some actual pathos to a character who only says his own name, so you don’t really want a no-name either.

    So you give Diesel a role like Vision or Ultron, and just have him lay down some voicework on the side for a little extra.

  22. Marvel doing their best to keep people excited about characters that they never heard of before until now. It’s smart. You get the public talking about characters whom they would have never talked about at all without you jerking them around like this.

  23. Why couldn’t he be voicing Rocket Raccoon? Honestly that would be kinda fun!

  24. This isn’t the first voice over work he’s done. Anyone recall that cartoon movie from 1999 called The Iron Giant? I think Diesel will own this role and I’m excited to see what this film has in store.

  25. I have a feeling this whole Groot this is a decoy. Disney/Marvel are on the cheap side when it comes to voicing a character so I doubt they would hire VD to play a character that only says 3 words until they add more dialogue to the character which I suspect wouldn’t have the fans all too happy. I still think he is play either Thanos, Ultron, or Vision. Then again, it could be that he is just playing some random SHIELD agent. Who knows but for the money that he usually demands I don’t think it’s Groot

  26. could it all be a throw off and have Diesel voice the raccoon?

  27. I actually can not stand his voice. To me he sounds like a very dimwitted guy from Brooklyn. I’m not a great fan of his acting. I don’t think he can play whatever the “” wants.

    • I thought that too when I saw him on Letterman once. Monotonous, boring voice and the guy came across as massively dumb and it just gave me another reason to not like him much after his horrible movie roles too (never seen The Iron Giant and his Saving Private Ryan character made zero impact on me every time I’ve seen it).

  28. I’d like to see him as Cable or Mr. Luthor.

  29. What about the Pacifier Part 2