Although it's still unconfirmed by the studio, it's looking more and more likely today that Vin Diesel will be be playing the motion-captured Groot in next year's Guardians of the Galaxy. The star just posted the below image to his official Facebook page, depicting himself posing with a detailed bust of the character (our most detailed look yet). Check it out below!
Director James Gunn, meanwhile, Tweeted the same image image along with, "Vin Diesel is a super awesome dude. I can't tell you how much I like this guy."
So, while it's still not "official," it's a good bet that Diesel will be joining Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Benicio del Toro, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Gregg Henry and Bradley Cooper for the ensemble sci-fi comedy actioner, which hits theaters August 1, 2014.
UPDATE #1: Marvel Studios has now made it official! Here's the press release:
Vin Diesel is Groot!
The star of the Fast and the Furious and Riddick franchises will lend his voice to Groot in Marvel's live-action "Guardians of the Galaxy," rounding out the team that includes Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista).
Featured in four of the six movies in the fan-favorite “Fast & Furious” franchise, Diesel has helped the series gross over $2 billion at the box office; and will reprise his role in “Fast & Furious 7.” Diesel’s most recent film, “Riddick,” the third film in the franchise that has so far earned a cumulative $267.3 million across the globe, debuted this year at the top of the box office. In addition to lending his voice to several video games, Diesel’s received great acclaim for his voice work in the celebrated animated film “The Iron Giant,” directed by Brad Bird.
In the far reaches of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an unlikely cast of characters including Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket Raccoon must join forces to defeat a cosmic force of epic proportions. Directed by James Gunn, the live-action "Guardians of the Galaxy" will take fans to new corners of the Marvel Universe when it hits theaters August 1, 2014.
In addition to "Guardians of the Galaxy," Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" on April 4, 2014; "Avengers: Age of Ultron" on May 1, 2015; and "Ant-Man" on July 31, 2015.
UPDATE #2: Director James Gunn posted the following on his official Facebook page, indeed confirming that Diesel will say just the "I Am Groot" line, but in different ways:
"Yep it is completely official. AND he's amazing. I never knew someone could say I AM GROOT so many different ways and with such feeling (and that sounds like I'm kidding but I'm not!)"