By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist August 12, 2013 at 9:01AM
It's been one of the more intriguing movie-news related mysteries of the last few months. Concrete-voiced "Fast & Furious" star Vin Diesel has been hinting on his Facebook page for a little while that he was in discussions with Marvel about taking some kind of role in one of their upcoming projects. With "Thor: The Dark World" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" already quite a way into production, it seemed that it was more likely to be either "Guardians Of The Galaxy" or "The Avengers: Age Of Ultron," and so speculation flew, with guesses ranging from the voice of Rocket Racoon or Thanos in the former to The Vision or Ultron in the latter.
Well, it seems like the mystery's been solved. Yesterday, Diesel posted an image to his Facebook page, an image which those more Marvel-savvy than ourselves identified as Groot, one of the central characters of "Guardians Of The Galaxy." Groot is a plant monster who resembles a tree, seemingly the last of his race, who is able to control trees, sprout, and regrow himself from a sprig. He also has a hardened wooden larynx which makes every statement he says come out as "I am Groot," making him the Hodor of the Marvelverse.
When you need someone to voice someone with a wooden larynx, there was clearly only one person to call, and Deadline have subsequently confirmed that Diesel is in talks to voice the character. While we snark, the actor gave the finest performance of his career as the voice of the title character in Brad Bird's "The Iron Giant," and if he can bring an ounce of that pathos to Groot, he's a great choice. Diesel (who'll next be seen in next month's "Riddick") is the latest addition to next year's more eccentric and eclectic superhero cast, which already includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Benicio Del Toro, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Ophelia Lovibond and Peter Serafinowicz. Filming is underway in London right now, and the movie opens on August 1st, 2014. Now all we need to know is who's voicing that damn raccoon.