[Update: Vin Diesel met with Marvel. Details here.]
With only one chapter of Phase Two (Iron Man 3) out of the way, Disney and Marvel Studios have begun unveiling their plans for Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After The Avengers 2 and Ant-Man hit theaters in 2015, there will be at least three additional Marvel franchise movies, unannounced titles officially scheduled for 2016 and 2017, with more on the way.
San Diego Comic-Con is three weeks out and Marvel is expected to host a major panel presentation for Thor: The Dark World, that will also likely include bits for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. Adding to the list of hopeful unveilings - that now includes the mysterious Phase Three film titles – are the major casting confirmations and surprise announcements. Could one of them involve a role for Vin Diesel?
Vin Diesel just told his 47 million Facebook fans that he's meeting with Marvel, joking that he doesn’t know why or what for. It came as a secondary part of one of his regular Facebook photos and messages:
"P.s. Marvel has requested a meeting... no idea what for... haha, you probably know better than me..."
With the timing of this statement, Comic-Con around the corner, Fast & Furious 6 (& 7) in everyone’s mind, and the fact that writer-director James Gunn is beginning to shoot Guardians of the Galaxy in London, our immediate guess would be that Marvel is looking to finalize the voice actors for their space epic. Heroes Rocket Raccoon and Groot for instance, along with the big bad villain of the universe (Thanos) will likely be (at least, partially) CG animated, along with many other of the alien characters.
How does Vin Diesel’s voice (think an angrier Iron Giant) behind the grinning face of Thanos sound?
By coincidence or perhaps not at all, we’re not surprised to see Diesel’s name pop up with the Marvel brand. Last year in August, he stirred the rumor mill himself with his super-popular Facebook page by throwing up an image of Vision (the photo below, actually) as his profile photo before quickly taking it down. Vision is an android, a love interest of confirmed new Avengers Scarlet witch and a member of Earth’s Mightiest himself.
[Click to Enlarge]
Knowing from our sources that actors such as Benicio Del Toro were signed quite a while before the news was slipped to trade magazines, it’s possible that Diesel is playing coy and is already set to play some character in the series. All we have to go on is the timing of the news and the uncast characters we know are hitting the big screen in the future.
There’s an additional piece to the story that I mentioned last year and on the Screen Rant Underground podcast, but five years ago, Diesel told MTV in an interview why he hadn’t gotten involved in comic book movies. His main reason is that he was “holding out,” for a film where the protagonist is the villain from the Marvel universe, a role that no one had come to him yet at that point in time.
Iron Man 3 is currently in theaters, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes who Vin Diesel should play!