Vin Diesel's months-long flirtation with Marvel Studios is close to wrapping up. (At least it better be?) After Diesel posted a photo to his Facebook page of Groot from "Guardians of the Galaxy" on Sunday, Deadline.com revealed that the "Fast & Furious" star was negotiating with Marvel to voice the character, "an extraterrestrial, sentient tree-like creature," in the upcoming comic book film.
While nothing is confirmed just yet, Diesel continued teasing the possibility of playing Groot in an interview with Amy Kaufman of The Los Angeles Times. "I'm an actor. I can do whatever the ... I want," Diesel said when asked why he wanted to play Groot. "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." Diesel worked with Spielberg on "Saving Private Ryan."
If there's any problem with this impending union, it's that "Guardians of the Galaxy" is shooting right now (set photos made the rounds this week after a Getty Images caption mistakenly identified an extra as actress Glenn Close, who also appears in the film). "The audience wanted Vin and Marvel, Vin and Marvel. But I'm too busy to do a six-month role," Diesel told Kaufman about the possibility of scheduling conflicts. "So what Marvel came up with was really interesting. ... I am watching a social wave influence and, in some ways, guide their thinking."
Or maybe not. "No. It's so far ahead it may not even exist. So, there's nothing to announce," Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige told HuffPost Entertainment at Comic-Con in July when asked about the possibility of unveiling Diesel during this past weekend's D23 fan expo. "But, I love Vin and he's an amazing personality. Look how much attention he's gotten for a meeting. He's incredibly shrewd." (Feige was true to his word: Diesel was not part of D23.)
Groot, like fellow Guardians of the Galaxy member Rocket Raccoon, is an animated creation. Diesel, then, could likely voice the character without putting his other obligations in jeopardy. The actor is set to shoot "Fast and Furious 7" soon with that film due for release next summer.
For more of Diesel's musings, hit the Los Angeles Times.