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Watch: 3 Clips From 'Riddick,' Vin Diesel Nearly Played Marvel "Phase 3" Character, But Voicing A Talking Tree Instead

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by Charlie Schmidlin
August 28, 2013 8:57 AM
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Even before his name became tangled in the web of associations and secrecy that is Marvel's upcoming film slate, Vin Diesel was an absolute master of suggestion — just one “Fast & Furious” tidbit or Riddick-related image was enough to draw speculation to his impressive Facebook page. But then excitement really peaked when the actor revealed in June that Marvel had reached out to him; we thought the matter then settled when his voice/motion-capture role as talking tree Groot in “Guardians Of The Galaxy” was announced, but now it appears the original meeting had different intentions after all.

While chatting to THR (via Comic Book Movie), Diesel spoke hesitantly about his eventual path to Groot, and while doing so disclosed that he was actually in talks with Marvel to launch a fresh IP (intellectual property) for them down the line. "[The film] would come out in 2016 or 2017 and potentially launch the third phase," he said, before citing his busy slate and comic fans' immediate interest in him as the reason for coming on sooner to 'Guardians.'

"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," he added of director James Gunn's film currently filming in London. Previous rumors favored Diesel as portraying The Vision, Ultron, and even Rocket Raccoon (which may instead see Bradley Cooper in the role), but hopefully now we can settle down and wait to see what Diesel does with the part he's been given.

As for his current franchise obligations, Diesel stars next in “Riddick” which opens September 6th; check out three new clips (plus lots of new pics) from the film below, in which he dispatches a swamp monster and convinces Katee Sackhoff of his deadly abilities.

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