Vin Diesel has officially been confirmed for Guardians of the Galaxy.
Rumors that the Fast & Furious star would play Groot, a sentient tree-like being, have been circulating for months.
Diesel posted a picture of Groot on his Facebook page back in August, but quickly deleted the post. He also all but confirmed the role in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“As an actor, not everything has to be the most obvious choice. And sometimes, the best thing you can do — as far as Steven Spielberg and his advice — is to defy expectations,” he said. “So if everybody thinks you’re going to go for this one thing and you flip it entirely and go for the strangest Marvel character, it’s interesting.”
The 46-year-old also said that Marvel wasn’t mad that he was dropping hints about joining Guardians of the Galaxy.
“I’m pretty open, but I have been secretive about this,” he said. “I went to Comic-Con and I got blasted while I was on the Hall H panel for ‘Riddick.’ Someone asked a Marvel question. I couldn’t say anything because of that secrecy.”
In September, Diesel was listed on the Guardians of the Galaxy IMDB page, but director James Gunn said the information was inaccurate.
“IMDB is not always correct. Even right now I believe it contains misinformation,” Gunn said.“A complete cast list will not be released until closer before release — and we are not currently releasing a list of all the characters in the film.”
After more than four months of silence and secrecy, Marvel Studios officially confirmed Diesel’s involvement in the film Saturday.
“Vin Diesel is Groot!,” Marvel said in a press release. “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).”
The New York native posted a picture of himself with a bust of Groot on his official Facebook page Saturday evening, and Gunn tweeted the same picture with the message, “Vin Diesel is a super awesome dude. I can’t tell you how much I like this guy.”
Guardians of the Galaxy is scheduled for release on August 1, 2014.