"As an actor not everything you do has to be the obvious choice," Vin Diesel recently explained of his decision to play a tree in Marvel's Phase 2 epic Guardians Of The Galaxy. Now, in a slight update, Diesel has elaborated on what his role as the vocabulary-challenged Groot will involve. It won't just be voice work.
"It'll be voiceover, mo-cap, and all of that stuff," he told The Hollywood Reporter: the first confirmation that he'll be donning the grey pyjamas for a digital makeover as well as standing behind a microphone. "It's going to be super-cool."
What's potentially more intriguing though is Diesel's claim that his initial talks with Marvel were about something else entirely. Groot, he says, came out of a desire to get something going immediately, but the original reason for his appointment at the House of M was "to talk about a fresh IP [intellectual property] that would come out in 2016 or 2017 and potentially launch a third phase".
Diesel to launch Marvel's Phase 3? Which IPs might they have been discussing? As far as we know, the first film planned for that slate is Edgar Wright's Ant-Man, but that's due in 2015, much earlier than the dates Diesel mentions. Has he got his dates wrong? Is he talking about Ant-Man? Or is "launch" the innaccurate part, with the possibility that he'll turn up elsewhere in the roster?
Hypothetically running with the latter, who might he play? The most popular suggestions so far include martial artist Danny Rand/Iron Fist (half of the Heroes For Hire with Luke Cage/Power Man) and The Inhumans' Black Bolt who has a hypersonically destructive voice. Quieter voices are suggesting Dr Strange or Vision.
Far more questions than answers then, but what's certain is that, with both Groot and the just-underway Fast & Furious 7 filling his calendar for the next couple of months, Diesel is pretty busy. Fast 7 is due out in the UK on July 25 next year, with Guardians Of The Galaxy a week later on August 1. We'll next see Diesel in Riddick on September 4.