Vin Diesel Says Groot Isn’t the Only Character He’s Playing for Marvel

By  · Published on September 7th, 2013

Just when we thought the dream casting stage was over, Vin Diesel’s true Marvel Studios role is back up in the air. Yes, the Riddick star is set to voice Groot in next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but according to his statements in an interview with Extra host Maria Menounos this week, Diesel is also still on board for an actual physical part in the Avengers franchise universe. Specifically, he reiterates that his initial meeting with Marvel was for a Phase Three character that will debut in 2016. We’d heard that clarification previously but it was thought the Groot voice casting had replaced that other gig. Instead it seems Groot was just to appease Diesel’s fanbase while Marvel continues to work with the actor on the other 2016 thing.

So, let the speculation ensue once again. What Marvel Studios Universe character could, should, would, will Diesel portray? The names on the table before are back on the table now, with good guy Vision and bad guy Thanos topping the predictions. Diesel hints that the role would involve a “merging of brands,” but that could be interpreted a number of different ways. He could be starring in a reboot of Blade for all that means, so long as they bring the vampire hunter into the Avengers world. He could be Namor, which would be another fine jab at DC’s weakness in getting their big properties onto the big screen (because Namor is Marvel’s Aquaman). Rights to a Namor film are owned by Universal, but maybe a studio cross-over is the “merging” he means.

He could be anyone. Maybe not Black Panther. How about we read too much into his hand gestures at the end of the interview and start the rumor he’s doing more of his indirect clues again by giving us the visual hint that he’ll be Iron Fist…

I just don’t see Diesel playing Vision, but who knows? And as for Thanos, I wonder if it would be too strange if we wind up with a movie featuring that villain as well as the Guardians. A few actors have played multiple superheroes in their career but none in the same franchise let alone the same movie. And since Diesel credits his voice work in The Iron Giant and his admiration for Andy Serkis’s Gollum as reasons for the plans for Groot to not only involve his vocals but also some sort of motion-capture performance, it doesn’t sound like Groot will be distinctly unrecognizable from his portrayer. And neither would Thanos if that’s to be an even bigger deal for the actor’s fanbase to enjoy. How weird would it be to watch dual Diesel characters at the same time?

Interestingly, in other Marvel Studios “news” this week, Diesel’s Riddick co-star Katee Sackhoff is being rumored for the role of Carol Danvers, aka Ms./Captain Marvel, in the next Avengers sequel and/or possibly a movie of her own. This all based on an interview with the Schmoes Know Movies Podcast [via] in which the actress says she’s been approached by Disney about her schedule. Which, of course, means absolutely nothing, but hey let’s turn that into actual buzz because why not (hey, remember when we thought she was going to be Typhoid Mary because she bought some comic books?). Any other members of the Riddick cast we can wildly speculate about? Is there some morsel through which we can hope, I mean claim, Karl Urban is up for the Doctor Strange movie? How about Dave Bautista for Drax the Destroyer? Oh wait, that one is actually already true.

Watch the original interview with Diesel below (the Marvel stuff is at the end), or just read the relevant transcribed points via Bleeding Cool here.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.