Vin Diesel just might be Groot. The Fast and The Furious franchise actor is in negotiations to join Marvel’s newest ensemble tent pole, I’ve learned. If it all works out, Vin Diesel would play the tree-like alien in the James Gunn-directed Guardians of the Galaxy, sources say. Earlier today, Diesel posted a captionless pic of Groot up on his Facebook page. For a while the drawing from the GOTG comic (see left) stood as his cover page before being taken down though the photo is still in his timeline. Studio boss Kevin Feige made no mention on August 10 of Diesel joining GOTG during Marvel’s presentation at Day 2 of D23. Marvel showed the same footage from the recently started lensing GOTG, which stars Chris Pratt, Benicio del Toro, Zoe Saldana and Glenn Close, as he did at Comic-Con in July. The Groot character can absorb wood to gain strength and recover from injuries as well as control trees. While hyper-intelligent, the alien seems to only ever say the line “I am Groot” over and over to those who cannot hear his real voice.
Related: Comic-Con: Vin Diesel On Marvel Rumors: “Some Very Big News Coming”
Today’s Facebook post by Diesel isn’t the first time the actor has hinted via social media that he’s joining the Marvel universe. Two weeks after telling his nearly 45 million followers that the studio had asked him to come in for a meeting, Diesel added more on July 9 “Marvel meeting today. … Only the people in the room can tell you what was discussed. … P.s. Thanks to Our page, for pushing to make it happen… you know I get tunnel vision with my work… and after that meeting today… wow!” At the time, Diesel also posted a photo of himself on his self run Facebook in front of an Avengers poster. Late last month during the Riddick panel at Comic-Con, Diesel told fans that he couldn’t talk about what was discussed with Marvel. Then he added, “there is some very big news coming at the end of this month. … Poor Marvel.” Marvel aren’t the first studio to receive a Diesel Facebook leak. Back in January, Diesel jumped the gun on Universal and went on Facebook to reveal details about the Fast 6 ad that was set to run during Super Bowl XLVII. He has also stayed relatively mum when questioned in person. Vin Diesel is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment.
The blogosphere is going wild as Marvel chief Kevin Feige does interviews for Iron Man 3 and acknowledges that Daredevil has returned to the Marvel fold at Disney. We told you this was going to happen last August, when … Read More »
ICG publicists will honor Kevin Feige as Motion Picture Showman of the Year at the 50th Annual Awards Luncheon on February 22. As producer and president of Marvel Studios, Feige oversees all creative aspects of the company’s … Read More »
Deadline broke the news when Patty Jenkins was the surprise choice to direct Chris Hemsworth in Thor 2, and Marvel has just confirmed that her deal closed. Jenkins, who directed Charlize Theron in her Oscar-winning Monster performance, also directed the pilot of the AMC series The Killing. Still, she … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Everybody is trying to keep this secret. But I’ve learned that yesterday Disney canned Dana Precious, EVP of Worldwide Marketing for Marvel’s LA Studios (she had replaced Doug Finberg at the end of last summer); Jeffrey Stewart, VP of Worldwide Marketing (he’d been brought in by Dana); and Jodi Miller, Manager of Worldwide Marketing. That’s essentially Marvel’s entire marketing department. Marvel redundant jobs were on the line ever since Disney bought the publisher/studio in 2009. And the marketing department even more so this summer after Paramount released Thor and Captain America domestically and internationally, thus effectively ending that studio’s marketing and distribution of Marvel pictures. I’m told that on June 24th, Rob Steffens, who is Marvel Studios’ EVP Operations, met with all of the department at the Manhattan Beach offices in what was described as a “Disney Rules of the Road” meeting. He told staff that there would be no house-cleaning by the mouse, period, so they were not to fear for their jobs and flee en masse. So much for that promise.
The official line on why Marvel’s marketing team was let go is that Disney will be taking over that function and handling the releases of The Avengers and future Marvel movies themselves. In fact I’ve learned that Marvel will bring in someone in a “project management role”. But Kevin Feige’s continued supervision of all things Marvel should resolve any doubts by fanboys that Disney will screw around or screw up the comic book films. Insiders tell me that Precious and her team were not well-loved by Marvel bigwig Feige and other top execs at Marvel or by Disney and Paramount. (Some of the comments I heard today included: “Not up to or have the skill set to release this brand properly”… “Their job was to keep track of the people doing the real work”… “Paper pushers”… ”Would it have killed them to return an email?”… “Disney doesn’t need someone to cut its trailers”…)
Now Marvel staffers wonder whether the firings were really to avoid duplicating efforts with Disney or just petty vindictiveness. Read More »
Insiders close to Marvel and Robert Downey Jr, who has director approval on Iron Man 3, confirm that Jon Favreau won’t direct this next installment of the franchise. Granted there’s no script yet. And few helmers do what Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Studios is moving forward on a live action feature version of Iron Fist, hiring screenwriter Rich Wilkes to draft a movie based on a martial arts expert whose battle with a dragon–ended when he plunged his hands through … Read More »
Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
SUNDAY AM UPDATE: I think the biggest news of the Marvel Studios panel tonight is that The Punisher is now owned by Marvel Studios again, and will probably figure into a future film. I’ve learned The Punisher rights reverted to Marvel in 2009 following the release of Punisher 2. The studio has no immediate plans to develop a movie based on the franchise. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige last night did not say when the Punisher rights reverted, or how: just that they have.
So who is The Punisher? In the comics, Frank Castle is a Vietnam veteran whose family is killed in a Mafia crossfire. Donning a black spandex costume with a skull logo, he declares war on crime and becomes a vigilante. Introduced as a Spider-Man foe in the 1970s, his popularity took off in the late 1980s, when grim and “realistic” superheroes became the norm. The Punisher is different from many superheroes in that he uses guns and has no secret identity. (He is known to be Frank Castle.) On film, he has been portrayed three times.
Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Back on July 14th, I scooped that Mark Ruffalo Is In Late-Stage Talks To Be Marvel’s New Hulk in ‘The Avengers’. Now I’ve just learned the ink is drying on the deal reached by Brillstein Entertainment Partners with Marvel. (There’s no official confirmation yet from Marvel whose reps aren’t available for their usual “No comment”.) So it looks like Marvel movie mastermind Kevin Feige may pull this off and bring Ruffalo along with other of The Avengers superheroes and director Joss Whedon to tomorrow night’s panel at Comic-Con. Read More »
SATURDAY, JULY 24
THE DAY YOUR FEET GET REALLY SORE
Luke Y Thompson covers Hollywood events at the Con for Deadline:
10:00-11:00 AM: Mad about MAD! I used to love Mad Magazine, but in the years since it started accepting advertising, … Read More »