When Fast & Furious actor Vin Diesel mentioned on Twitter that he was meeting with Marvel Studios’ about plans to play a character in an upcoming film, the comics internet – and the online world at large – went a bit wild. With fans’ imaginations soaring to all manner of casting from Ultron to Vision on, virtually every role in the Marvel Universe was on the table.
But in recent weeks Diesel’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made itself known, with the actor being in talks to voice the alien tree creature Groot in 2014’s Guardian of the Galaxy. But in an interview earlier this week with The Hollywood Reporter, the Riddick star has revealed he was originally in talks for something very different at Marvel – as the lead in a new movie as part of Marvel’s Phase 3 films.
“That was the focus of our conversation – a fresh IP that would come out in 2016 or 2017, and potentially launch the third phase,” Diesel told THR. “With my schedule, it was almost impossible to imagine I could do anything immediate.”
Indeed, Diesel’s schedule has picked up quite a bit since the Fast & Furious franchise was revived in 2009. He’s part of two films scheduled for 2014, Fast & Furious 7 and The Last Witch Hunter, with further movies already announced such as Soldiers of the Sun, The Machine and a xXx sequel. But then came the idea of doing voice work as Groot.
“I guess after they watched Iron Giant, or whatever, they came up with this idea of taking the strangest Marvel character -- or the strangest Marvel character that's ever hit film -- and thought what I could do with that with motion capture and with my voice," The Riddick star told THR.
As for what Phase 3 Marvel movie the studio originally had in mind for Diesel, the actor was obviously coy. Marvel has three as-yet-untitled films scheduled for 2016-17, which would follow 2015’s release of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man.