I wish I could understand all of Vin Diesel's Marvel movie ellipses better, but there's at least fun to be had in trying to fill in the gaps. It seems like his mouth starts working every time he has a thought about the House of Ideas, and then he catches himself and curbs it off. Great fun, really.
In the video at the foot of this page, for example, he's giving up a half of all kinds of secrets to Maria Menounos. Here's my transcript of the Marvel-y bits.
When I met with Marvel it wasn't for anything immediate, it was to talk about a film that would be introduced in the Phase 3 part of Marvel, not for a few years. You wouldn't be able to see it for a few years. In my mind, Marvel were doing it right, they were enrolling me at the ground level which is the best way to enrol me.
I had heard people over the last year, people saying on the social media page saying "What's up Vin? Why aren't you going to Marvel? Why aren't you doing anything with Marvel? It would be a crime of cinematic history for you not to be in [Marvel movies]"
So I was thinking "This Marvel thing is really becoming really important for these people. What can I do? What should I think about?"
I get the call, I go down to Marvel. A great meeting. It was even talking about something so big I can't even talk about because it's like the merging of brands in a way, which I won't get into. That was something way, way, way, way, way down the road.
Later, he explains how he was put on the spot at Comic-Con. I was in Hall H when a fan asked him about his meetings with Marvel. This is how it felt from Diesel's side.
We had agreed not to say anything about the specifics of the meeting. So, now I've got the fans who I love more than I love the industry, than I love everybody… I was thinking "I've got to be real with them, I've got to tell them something" and yet I want to be respectful of people's process and if people like to do a slow reveal, you know?
Quite frankly, it would have been too much to say and it might have been anticlimactic to say "We're working on something for 2016" and so I just said "You're going to hear some really big news" and I left at the end of that and it went crazy.
And later, Diesel goes on to confirm that the 2016 project is still happening, and he's still involved, even while he's voicing Groot.
The next Monday, Marvel talks to me and says "We're going to send something over in two weeks. We want to focus on the 2016 but we also want to, if possible, answer this growing request for something now." I don't have six months to play a character in the immediate future, it's all booked… there was no way I was going to be able to deliver… after Comic-Con, we were at a stalemate…
And so Kevin Feige and James Gunn came up with the idea of Diesel playing Groot, wooing him with concept art. That much we're pretty clear on.
The big mystery here is what on earth this "merging of brands" might be. It sounds outrageous, I'm sure, but… but you don't suppose Sony are looking to share Diesel with Marvel, maybe? Have him crossover between their Amazing Spider-Man series and the Marvel Movieverse? Because maybe he'd be a great Kingpin.
Or, of course, he might mean something else. Entirely. More realistic. Who knows what he means by "brand," in truth. Perhaps it's a TV-movies crossover thing. I can see Diesel starting out as The Punisher on the big screen then running through a mini-series on the small.
All crazy conjecture. We just don't know. But the prospects and possibilities are obviously real, and seem absolutely wild. "Merging of brands."
Sometimes I love Vin Diesel and his desire to give to the fans. Everybody say "Thanks, Vin."
Now here's the video, with thanks to Perez Hilton, of all people. The Marvel chat kicks off after 50 minutes.