For months, we’ve heard that Vin Diesel would be voicing the character of Groot in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but the studio has repeatedly played coy about the casting – despite Diesel himself confirming the news on more than one occasion. Whatever reasons Marvel may have had for keeping the announcement under wraps for this long, it’s now official: the studio posted a brief snippet on their site, and director James Gunn posted the above photo on his Facebook.
“Vin Diesel is a super awesome dude, I can’t tell you how much I like this guy,” Gunn said, responding to a stream of comments on the photo. “I hope this puts to rest all the silly Thanos-Vin stuff which people just seemed to make up out of nothing.” He also downplayed Marvel’s refusal to confirm Diesel in the role: “He said he wanted to do it and we said we were talking to him. Everything else was people guessing and thinking they knew what was going to happen.”
Gunn also spoke briefly about the bust featured in the photo: “This was the bust we used for reference when shooting. It has changed slightly from this since we started animating him.” Recording sessions have apparently begun, and Gunn had this to say about Diesel’s performance: “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!)”
Guardians of the Galaxy is set for release on August 1, 2014.