Vin Diesel Teases 'Merging of Brands' for Unknown 2016 Marvel Project
by Ethan Anderton
September 9, 2013
We already know that Vin Diesel is providing voice and motion capture work to bring the tree alien hero Groot to life for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy from director James Gunn. However, when Diesel confirmed that he would do the mocap work on the cosmic superhero ensemble, he also talked about how his meeting with Marvel was initially about a completely different project, "a fresh IP that would come out in 2016 or 2017, and potentially launch the third phase." Now Diesel has revealed he's still developing the project pitched in their original meeting, but he's not giving away any secrets for now. But it sounds big.
Bleeding Cool picked up an interview with Maria Menounos from Perez Hilton, and Diessel chatted about the Marvel meeting yet again, but teased this new project that will have fans theorizing for awhile. He said:
"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 3 part of Marvel, not for a few years. You wouldn’t be able to see it for a few years. In my mind, Marvel were doing it right, they were enrolling me at the ground level which is the best way to enroll me.
I had heard people over the last year, people saying 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 in [Marvel movies]'
So I was thinking 'This Marvel thing is really becoming really important for these people. What can I do? What should I think about?'
I get the call, I go down to Marvel. A great meeting. It was even talking about something so big I can’t even talk about because it’s like the merging of brands in a way, which I won’t get into. That was something way, way, way, way, way down the road."
As far as his tease at Comic-Con is concerned, at the time, Diesel wasn't in talks for Guardians of the Galaxy yet. The actor talks about how he quickly handled a fan's question during his Riddick panel Q&A:
"We had agreed not to say anything about the specifics of the meeting. So, now I’ve got the fans who I love more than I love the industry, than I love everybody… I was thinking 'I’ve got to be real with them, I’ve got to tell them something' and yet I want to be respectful of people’s process and if people like to do a slow reveal, you know?
Quite frankly, it would have been too much to say and it might have been anticlimactic to say 'We’re working on something for 2016' and so I just said 'You’re going to hear some really big news' and I left at the end of that and it went crazy."
However, at the time he said that the news would be revealed at the end of the month. And since the Guardians of the Galaxy news came shortly thereafter, everyone assumed that was the big secret Marvel and Diesel were keeping at Comic-Con. But Diesel explains:
"The next Monday, Marvel talks to me and says 'We’re going to send something over in two weeks. We want to focus on the 2016 but we also want to, 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… after Comic-Con, we were at a stalemate…"
And that's how Groot came into play. But Diesel reiterates that this mysterious 2016 project is still happening, and he’s still involved. Now it's hard to tell what Diesel means when he says "merging of the brands," but the most obvious theory would involve some kind of deal with Fox and/or Sony about Diesel playing a character that would appear in both the Marvel Studios cinematic universe and one of the other studios Marvel properties. There's tons of red tape to figure out with a deal like that, but since actors like Hugh Jackman and Andrew Garfield have expressed an interest in fighting with The Avengers, it seems like studios need to get their act together and figure out how to give fans what they want.
Bleeding Cool hypothesizes that maybe Diesel could play Kingpin in The Amazing Spider-Man sequels and cross over into the Marvel universe, but there's plenty of other characters he could take on if that were the case. Could this also maybe have something to do with "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." on ABC where Diesel would first appear on the show and then head to the big screen? There are tons of possibilities, but hopefully we'll hear more about this unknown project very soon. Either way, it's safe to say that Diesel is getting pretty comfortable at Marvel. Thoughts?