Vin Diesel has effectively confirmed his appearance as the living tree Groot in 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' and the fact that his role will involve a single line of dialogue.
It was when Diesel updated his cover photo to that of Groot that the rumours first began that he would portray Groot in James Gunn's cosmic superhero movie. Now, we have recorded evidence for the man's own lips that he will be playing the role, via an informal behind the scenes video from the set of 'Fast Seven.'
The clip shows the actor navigating the set of 'Fast Seven' on a pair of athletic stilts, hobnobbing with the likes of Kurt Russell and Diesel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' co-star Djimon Hounsou. This, Diesel remarks, is preparation for the motion capture photography required for the role, elevating the actor to the character's over 7 foot stature.
As regards the dialogue: in the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' comic books, Groot is capable of delivering only a single phrase - "I am Groot." While Diesel does not utter these words directly, he does confirm his dialogue will be confined to a single line (and really, what else could it be?)
Diesel says, "My father taught me there are no small roles, only small actors. I have one line in the movie, but that doesn't mean anything. I'm still going to make it the best thing possible I can. Even if it means taking Andy Serkis to a whole other level, which is what we want to do with our motion capture."
Andy Serkis, of course, is the accepted king of motion capture acting, noted particularly for his work as Gollum in 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit,' Kong in Peter Jackson's 'King Kong,' and as the ape Caesar in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' and its upcoming sequel.
Principal photography has recently wrapped on 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' and Diesel is of course at work on 'Fast Seven' at present, which must mean his work on the Marvel movie will be shot separately and added in afterwards. Presumably this is also true of Bradley Cooper, who will be portraying another all-CGI character, Rocket Raccoon.
We should also keep in mind that Diesel has hinted this may not be the only Marvel movie role we can look forward to seeing him in.
'Guardians of the Galaxy' is set to open in cinemas next August.
Ben Bussey is an editor of horror website Brutal As Hell, holds an MA in Cult Film & TV from Brunel University, and will refrain from making any obvious cracks about Vin Diesel portraying a block of wood.
More from this contributor: