Guardians of the Galaxy: This is Why Vin Diesel is Groot

Published 2 years ago by

Vin Diesel Marvel Studios Meeting Guardians of the Galaxy: This is Why Vin Diesel is Groot

It was just two months before Riddick was set to hit theaters when Vin Diesel told his 46 million+ Facebook fans that Marvel Studios had requested a meeting with him. Diesel left of the meeting very excited and at Comic-Con while promoting Riddick (and every interview since) he couldn’t avoid questions about Marvel, leading to unofficial confirmations that he’s not only potentially joining the franchise in a major role years down the road, but will be enlisting with the Guardians of the Galaxy as a walking, talking alien tree. This is the story of how that happened.

Speaking with his friend and interviewer Maria Menounos, Vin Diesel explains how Marvel sold him on the idea of Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy and how he and Marvel are doing their best to appease the actor’s vocal online fanbase.

“My daughter said ‘yes’ to Groot… I came home and I had a giant… Marvel, they’re so shrewd. You have to understand, when I met with Marvel it wasn’t for anything immediate. It was to talk about a film that would be introduced in the Phase Three part of Marvel – So, not for a few years. You wouldn’t be able to see it for a few years, and in my mind Marvel was doing it right. They were enrolling me at the ground level which is the best way to enroll me.

I had heard over the last year people on the social media page saying ‘what’s up Vin? Why aren’t you going to Marvel? Why aren’t you doing anything with Marvel? It would be a crime of cinematic history for you not to be.’ So I’m thinking this Marvel thing is becoming really, really important to these people. Okay, what can I do? What should I think?

I get the call, I go down to meet with Marvel – a great meeting. I mean it was just… it was even talking about something so big I can’t even talk about because it’s like a merging of brands in a way which I won’t get into, but that was way, way, way, way down the road.”

Diesel explains how this all happened just a week before heading to Comic-Con for the first time in over a decade (since promoting Pitch Black) and that the very last question during the Riddick panel was about his potential involvement with Marvel. He explains that he was caught “like a deer in the headlights,” So, passing it off as cool and avoiding being “anticlimactic” by saying he’s working on something with Marvel for 2016, Diesel teased that fans should expect big news soon (read about it here – he saw this coming).

Riddick Movie Official Photo Vin Diesel Goggles 570x288 Guardians of the Galaxy: This is Why Vin Diesel is Groot

Marvel Studios and Diesel were shocked by how the news erupted and excited fans and the media so, despite Diesel’s packed schedule, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn approached him with another idea. According to Vin they immediately contacted him the Monday after Comic-Con saying they still want to “focus on the 2016″ but they were sending over a package in two weeks to see if they can “if possible, answer this growing request for something now.”

“I don’t have six months to play a character in the immediate future. It’s all booked… There was no way I was going to be able to deliver. There was no way Marvel was going to be able to deliver. After Comic-Con we were at a stalemate. There was no way we were going to be able to answer the fans… And then Kevin Feige and James Gunn came up with something brilliant, even if I didn’t understand how brilliant it was when I first got it.

They sent over the script to Guardians of the Galaxy and they sent over a giant book of conceptual art… Everyone knows I’m a sucker for conceptual art… So, they sent over the visuals. I look at the visuals first and am like ‘oh my god.’ This is some of the best conceptual art I have seen in my life. But the request was a little bit ‘hmm… they want me to play a tree…”

That art is what led the actor to posting an image of Groot on his Facebook page. Diesel continues, “So they said, they wanted me to play a tree. They said there was something akin to Iron Giant about this tree, and everyone knows I’m a sucker for the Iron Giant. But I’m still like,” as he balances his hands and squints, emphasizing he was skepticism about the part.

Guardians of the Galaxy Character Roster Concept Art Line up Guardians of the Galaxy: This is Why Vin Diesel is Groot

“And another thing nobody knows, I always loved the Andy Serkis portrayal of Gollum as an actor and as a performer. I always thought that was one of the coolest challenges and one of the coolest things to do. If Peter Jackson would have asked me to play a dragon, I would have loved to have played a dragon, but to really mocap it. So, when Kevin Feige and James Gunn said we ‘want you to voice a character that historically is known for only saying one line’ it was not dissimilar to David Twohy saying ‘I want you to do Riddick but I don’t want you to interact with anyone in the whole first act.’ There’s something challenging about that and fun about that.

…to make sure I was on the right track I took the book of conceptual art into the room with my kids and I opened it up to the page where all five Guardians of the Galaxy characters are and I say, ‘who do you think they want daddy to play?’ And my daughter so quickly pointed to Groot. From that moment on I was Groot.”

And that’s the story of how fans, his children and one meeting with Marvel led to talks not only for a major potential franchise years down the road, but a interesting and challenging new gig for Diesel in the immediate future for Marvel’s riskiest project yet.

Guardians of the Galaxy is directed by James Gunn off of his script co-written by Nicole Perlman. Cooper joins a cast led by 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: conversationsMM (50:00 mark)

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
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  1. Looks like Screen Rant has its first troll.

  2. Looks like Screen Rant has its first troll.

  3. FFS don’t feed the fish- anybody who posts anything about DC in a marvel story is a troll, if you respond to them you’re not proving a point or being clever, you fell for obvious troll bait

  4. LOL=))… Almost 200 coments

    • Yep, thanks to yours truly. You guys are way too easy.

      • “How d’you like them apples?!”

  5. Ok…In case you didn’t get my reply… @Meh… I think someone is having bad day…. It’s ok pal. Your opinion is your and your’s ALONE. You don’t need to be ridiculous and rude just to make you feel better about yourself. It’s ok little guy. Batman and Superman will be AWESOME to catch…. Guardians… will be AWESOME to catch. Chill, speak your thoughts on this thread and crack a smirk. The fact that you need to create this act against people you don’t even know personally is a sign of your insignificance as a person. So you come to sites like these to again, feel better about your self. ( And this goes for anyone who pulls sh*t like this anywhere and EVERYWHERE…) This is a movie. No more, no less. Have fun and enjoy both flicks for they will hopefully be an excitement. But know this, the more negative feedback you give for the sake of your own self gratification, the more… MEH… you are to all the others. Peace, and have a wonderful life. And may Time itself have mercy on your, what some may call a Soul. Lataaaa!

    • …and you just directed a post at someone named “meh”

      This was way to much fun.

      • Jesus, you were still at this at 2am and your’e still at it!

        Oh, wait… am I. (^-^)

  6. I guess you guys don’t get much sleep?

    • Lmao

  7. I understand that it is a love story,and that takes away from the potential that it has, but the fact that it is a sort of new age interpretation of vampires and wolves is very interesting in my opinion. Love story set aside, this series has some potential. The acting could be better, in certain cases, but lets keep in mind that there are many one liners for the some the characters that seem to be quite interesting. I would say this defintely applies in the case of the wolves. I would love them to develop the wolves characters more individually.

    • Cheeseburgers! I agree that the soap box has fundamental power when looked at through a blender. While we can’t always agree that ambiguously placed sun-dials may be misleading, it is imperative that we recognize cordial donuts as an expression of humility.

  8. Why was this important

  9. I’m not Gay and i’m very curious how Vin will voice Groot and how the Gotg will be :)
    and i hope after reading this article that in the future Vin Diesel still is going to play Vision!

    Groot in Dutch meens Big btw . irrelevant but i wanted to share this here. since a lot of irrelevant messages are post here i gues it doesn’t matter

  10. Umm impersonating me much?

  11. What do you think he meant by ‘merging of brands’?

    • I’ve been trying to figure this out. I can’t really think of anything that either Marvel or Disney owns that they would include in the MCU. DC owns Vertigo comics which published ‘The Sandman’ which featured Batman, Superman, Martian Manhunter, Constantine, and a couple others. That’s a merging of brands. I cannot think of anything similar to that on the Marvel side.

      • Maybe they’re gonna do a Marvel vs. Capcom movie??? :D

        • ^^ This. 1000 times this!!!!!

      • It’s pretty safe to say he doesn’t mean two different studios working together. Doesn’t make sense for a lot of reasons. I’ll have a post on this soon though!

    • Merging of various marvel properties. Feign has stated that GotG and Avengers etc are “brands”. Avengers united the world of IM, Thor, Hulk, Capt etc so that statement is just a natural evolution of that and essentially bringing all their properties into one large movie.. The comics would suggest Thanos/infinity gauntlet angle.

      • hmm…I suppose that’s true. I don’t know why he’d feel the need to describe it that way instead of just saying “another character” or “another property” or something like that. I can’t really think of any other big group that they would want to include.

        • Excalibur?
          Alpha Flight?

          I don’t know about who owns the movie rights and all that stuff but those are 2 I would love to see in the MCU.

          • Exaclibur is XMEN and Alpha flight contains many mutants and characters that are closely associated with XMEN. Their first mission was to go retrieve Wolverine from the XMEN. So, Fox owns the movie rights.

  12. Maybe they are going to make Riddick a super hero in the marvel universe and Vin’s Riddick brand and marvel will merge.

    • Haha, I thought that to just to imagine it in my head. Riddick fighting at Caps side in the dark.

      But it will never happen…

  13. Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe movie?

    • If that ever happens, it has to happen after the new MK movie and after DC gets their stuff together which isn’t gonna happen for a number of years.

  14. I am glad Vin took the job of Groot. This is going to be an interesting flick. I am not going to say I cant wait….because I can. But I am very much looking forward to it.

    PS Some of you guys need serious help. You know who you are.

    • lol

  15. Iron Giant is my daughters favorite movie, so I’m glad that he’s doing vocal work again especially for Marvel. GOTG is going to be really out there, isn’t it? I’ve been reading up on it from this site, but this sounds like all these power house names need to help sell this movie. Risky idea that might really pay off in the end. I’m ready for this ride.

  16. Just let Riddick join the Avengers.

  17. LOL… someone is trying to be a funny guy using my name. D*ck.

    • It’s kinda obvious it’s not you. A No-Prize for guessing who it really is.

    • @FILTHpig – My apologies for not catching this guy earlier. If you see it happen again, please send us a notice using the Contact Us page and I’ll take care of it right away.


      Paul Young – Moderator

  18. Capcom characters need some movies….FOR REALS…why not a Viewtiful Joe? that game WAS SICK!

    • Oh man I had forgotten about that game


  20. HE IS GROOT!

  21. Watched this movie with my family I don’t like the movie because to me it was boring & The stupid tree was really annoying I wish it wasn’t in the movie!’!! All it says is the same words The whole movie by the time the movie was over I wished I could’ve walked out but I’m handicapped & my family like the movie. I wish I didn’t go because it was the dumbest movie I have a watched!!!

    when I found out Who played the tree I was shocked because I couldn’t even tell it was him, I think he is wasted on that part!!!