A lot has been made of Vin Diesel's adoration and respect for his fans, seen mostly through his social networking presence, and how he's used that to keep personal projects like Riddick going when they no longer seem feasible. Regardless of the film he's working on, Diesel always keeps his loyal followers in the loop, and their enthusiasm seems to affect him as well. That in turn, makes him one of the more open celebrities out there, and a welcome resource now that he's part of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
Diesel has spoken before about what happened at this past Comic-Con, when we were all expecting the announcement of his Marvel role, only to have him promise it in a few weeks after being put on the spot by a questioning fan. In a conversation with the lovely Maria Menounos (transcribed by Bleeding Cool), he goes even further, and reveals something that could be incredibly huge on the horizon...
"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."
So what is this "merging of brands" he's talking about? He doesn't really say, but he does confirm that the Phase 3 project Marvel wanted him for is happening, likely around 2016....
"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…"
It was at that point he joined 'Guardians' as the voice of Groot, meaning Diesel could very well be a part of two Marvel franchises at the same time while only appearing on screen in one. But a merging of brands suggests properties that aren't currently connected suddenly occupying the same space. While he could just mean that Guardians of the Galaxy will be teaming up with Doctor Strange and Ant-Man, the speculation that will emerge from this is that Marvel, Sony, and 20th Century Fox have struck some sort of crazy deal to crossover characters. Isn't that what everyone is dying to see? Whatever the case, it's another reason to continue being excited about what Diesel could mean for the future of Marvel.