Vin Diesel as the Voice of Groot for Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy'?
by Ethan Anderton
August 12, 2013
While attending Comic-Con to promote his forthcoming sci-fi sequel Riddick, the rumors swirling about Vin Diesel taking on a project at Marvel were confirmed when the actor said that some big news was coming at the end of the month. Well, July has finished and we're almost halfway through August, and though we don't have any official news, fans got a pretty big hint about his work with Marvel over the weekend. Through his own Facebook page, Diesel posted a comic book image featuring Groot, a plant monster from the Floral Colossus species of aliens who is part of the line-up in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Here's the image that Diesel posted which doesn't show up on his timeline, but is still active here:
Following this big hint, Deadline confirmed that Diesel is in talks to voice the walking, talking tree. In the comic's Groot's planet was on the verge of death, and he came to Earth to capture humans for some sort of experiment to save his planet. But S.H.I.E.L.D. captures him and hired him to work for them instead. Groot can regenerate (surviving by absorbing wood) and control plant life with his mind, but that doesn't stop him from still being incapacitated, albeit briefly, by simple things like fire and even termites. We caught a glimpse of the character (without dialogue) in the footage shown at Comic-Con last month.
Diesel has the perfect voice for someone like Groot, though to people who cannot hear the alien's real voice, it only sounds like he says "I am Groot" repeatedly. This won't be the first off-camera voicework that Diesel has taken on. In case you didn't know, Diesel provided his deep voice to The Iron Giant as the titular robot in the animated film from director Brad Bird. We're not sure if Marvel will make an official announcement soon, but this seems like it's all but confirmed by the studio at this point. It's disappointing for fans who wanted to see Diesel take on a villain role like Thanos, but this should still be fun. Sound good?
UPDATE: Diesel appeared at the Hollywood Foreign Press Asssociation luncheon yesterday, and while he didn't flat out confirm his involvement. A big smile was a dead giveaway and his answers clearly indicate vague talk about taking on this role that one might not expect from a big star like Diesel. When asked why he's taking on a character like Groot, Diesel laid it out (via LA Times):
"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."
As for how this offer came about, Diesel explains:
"The audience wanted Vin and Marvel, Vin and Marvel. But I’m too busy to do a six-month role. So what Marvel came up with was really interesting. … I am watching a social wave influence and in some ways guide their thinking.
It’s a weird thing. The audience wants Marvel and I to do something, and I don’t know why it’s so important. For six months, I wasn’t able to answer this growing request. Maybe they think of Dom [Diesel’s character in the “Fast & the Furious” movies] as a plain-clothes superhero? There’s something multicultural and interesting about that gravitas to bring the Marvel universe. I don’t know. Maybe because I’m the kind of guy who will put up a post [on Facebook] that’s different."
So since Diesel pays close attention to social media and hints at his future roles, how does the ever-secretive Marvel Studios feel about his openness with fans potentially spoiling what could have been a big reveal:
"The last thing they are is mad. I’m pretty open, but I have been secretive about this. I went to Comic-Con and I got blasted while I was on the Hall H panel for “Riddick.” Someone asked a Marvel question. I couldn’t say anything because of that secrecy."
However, from here on out, I wouldn't expect Diesel to divulge anymore Marvel secrets, though he might post some more images of Groot from the film itself. Either way, we're excited to have Diesel as part of a superhero ensemble like this, even if it's just his voice on the big screen.