Although Vin Diesel had talked about it for months, his role voicing the character known as Groot in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy took a long time to become official. When he first met with Marvel, an encounter driven mostly by Diesel's talk of having interest in the franchise on his Facebook page, it was for another role further down the road, but he and Marvel found a way to get him involved sooner without conflicting with his shooting schedule on other projects (Fast & Furious 7).
Like Bradley Cooper, who's voicing Rocket Raccoon - the other entirely digitally animated member of the Guardians of the Galaxy - Diesel brings star power to a film that Disney and Marvel need to help market the obscure property. Guardians brings an entirely new set of heroes and villains to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and takes place almost entirely in space. Combine that with the fact that until recently, the Guardians of the Galaxy comics and characters were virtually unheard of to mainstream and casual moviegoers, and the James Gunn-directed feature has a lot of obstacles to overcome to match the success of Marvel's other post-Avengers releases.
So, to help sell a movie that stars the not-yet-a-household-name Chris Pratt in his first big lead role, Marvel brought in heavyweight Hollywood names Cooper and Diesel into the fold since their presence on any press tours will draw major international media attention. While Rocket Raccoon is the first voice role for Bradley Cooper, Diesel brings with him experience voicing another innocent, lovable behemoth in The Iron Giant. But it's not just his name and powerful voice Marvel knows they're getting with Diesel, but his world record holding social media power.
Vin Diesel has over 80 million Facebook fans so if you have him in your project, you also have his direct channel to one of the largest collections of fans the entertainment industry has ever seen. And that's exactly what makes Diesel's post on his wall earlier today important:
I have to share this... My youngest who is 3 yrs old, has never been to a movie theater before in his life. Today, I was invited by Disney and Marvel to see the latest cut of Guardians of the Galaxy and I was able to take the angels. WOW!!!!!
To Marvel, Disney, the incredible cast and team and especially James Gunn... Thank you for making a GREAT MOVIE! It was amazing and will always be special, for it was the first film I was able to take my family to see and oh how they loved it.
I AM GROOT!!!
Vin Diesel just told 80 million people that Guardians of the Galaxy is a must-see movie for his followers and their families. At the time of this writing, the post already was shared over 3000 times and liked over 100,000. That's pretty good word-of-mouth/viral marketing in a simple, direct way.
We're less than a month away from the release of Guardians of the Galaxy around the world and next Monday, Disney will be screening 17 minutes of the film in IMAX 3D next Monday, July 7, 2014 at select locations in North America. We'll have plenty of other cool GOTG news that week so be sure to check back.
In the meantime, find out which Guardians you are by filling out this fun and short questionnaire on Buzzfeed. I got Peter Quill, who did you get?
Guardians of the Galaxy is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime Rael and Benicio Del Toro as The Collector.
Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!
Source: Vin Diesel