Franchises collide! Gravel-voiced muscleman Vin Diesel, who's powered the Fast & Furious series into becoming one of Hollywood's most durable properties, may soon don Spandex. Yup, he revealed on Facebook that "Marvel has requested a meeting," meaning that they probably want him to play a character in one of their upcoming films. But who could that character be?
Mind you, Diesel has been in talks with Marvel before. Once upon a time he had discussed playing the classic character Namor the Sub-Mariner, an Atlantean superhero who's kind of like Marvel's answer to DC's Aquaman — though Namor actually dates back to the 1930s, even headlining Marvel Comics #1. Considering that Diesel's Facebook message accompanies a photo of him engaging in water sports, it seems that he may indeed have resumed talks to play the aquatic hero. Those original discussions stalled because, well, Namor isn't exactly a character who could headline a film by himself. But could he be a part of an ensemble like The Avengers 2? Most definitely. The Fast & Furious films capitalize on Diesel's meathead charm, but they also integrate him into an extensive ensemble in each movie. He's pretty much teed up to join S.H.I.E.L.D.
But there are also a few other possibilities for who he could play...
The healer-turned-sorcerer has one of the more tragic story arcs in the Marvel universe. It seems like the studio is very keen to give Doctor Strange the big-screen treatment for its Phase 3 movie lineup, and Diesel could fit. After Strange loses his ability to heal people conventionally, as a medical doctor, he turns to magic. It's all about his powerlessness and efforts to re-empower himself, themes for which Diesel's formidable physical presence could provide ironic contrast.
We've been talking about Edgar Wright's film since forever, it seems like, but the fact is, the title character still hasn't been cast! Diesel could easily play Dr. Hank Pym.
Way back before Ben Affleck signed on to play the blind vigilante in 2003, Diesel had also circled the role. It's possible, now that the rights to the Daredevil property have reverted to Marvel, that they're looking to reboot the character in a way that isn't absolutely horrible... like the Affleck version. Diesel's already been known to wear some funky eyewear as Riddick.
Damion Poitier played the largely non-CGI character in a non-speaking cameo at the end of The Avengers. Could Diesel step in to at least lend his basso profondo voice to the role? He could bring silky menace to a character who embarks on an apocalyptic campaign to court Death — or, rather, a female personification of Death.
One thing that's probably ruled out here: Fans had long imagined him playing Doctor Doom in a Fantastic Four movie, but the rights to that franchise are still held by Fox, not Marvel. And Diesel's Facebook post suggests he's definitely meeting with Marvel Studios. So do not expect to see him in the FF reboot Fox is planning for 2015.
Who do you think he'll end up playing?
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More: Marvel's Phase 3: Hulk, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man & 'Iron Man 4' Marvel's 'Big Hero 6' Being Adapted by Disney Animation How'd They Create Those Amazing 'Fast & Furious 6' Stunts?
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The Whole Ten Yards picks up about two years after the events that changed the lives of Oz (Matthew Perry) Jimmy "The Tulip" (Bruce Willis) Jill (Amanda Peet) and Cynthia (Natasha Henstridge)--and made them a whole lot richer. Nice-guy dentist Oz is now married to Jimmy's ex-wife Cynthia and living in Brentwood Calif. where he still practices dentistry. They seem happy but Oz is so paranoid someone will come after him that he keeps an arsenal of weapons in his home which is teeming with high-tech surveillance equipment. His suspicions however are not so farfetched: Turns out Cynthia is in cahoots with Jimmy who is now married to Jill and living in Mexico and they're planning to rob Hungarian mobster Lazlo Gogolak (Kevin Pollak) who's just been released from prison. But Lazlo has an agenda of his own. He wants to kill Jimmy for the murder of his son rival hitman Yanni Gogolak a couple of years ago. When Lazlo kidnaps Cynthia to get to Jimmy (he figures Oz will spill the beans on his whereabouts) poor Oz runs off to Mexico and pleads for Jimmy's help. What Oz and Jill don't realize however is that they are part of a much bigger revenge plot against Lazlo perpetrated by their own spouses Jimmy and Cynthia.
The only thing that makes The Whole Ten Yards engaging is the returning cast who have a playful and endearing on-screen chemistry. Willis and Perry are at the forefront reprising their roles as Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudesky and Nicholas "Oz" Oseransky respectively. The actors craft their characters well and uniquely and the conflicting personalities they create--Willis' cool and collected Jimmy and Perry's nervous and scatterbrained Oz--make watching their interactions entertaining. When the two discover that the hostage in the trunk of their car has died for example Willis stands there unflinchingly while Perry yelps "It looks like he got shot in the foot! Who dies from being shot in the foot?" Peet blends in with her own brand of humor; her klutzy character Jill is hilarious without trying to be which is the key to her performance. Jill's hung up on the fact that although she's a professional marksman she's never had a real kill--she's so accident-prone that her targets always die by default. Also returning for the sequel is Pollak who played Yanni in the first film. Here he returns as Yanni's father Lazlo aged with the help of prosthetics and makeup. It's a great idea and the result is pretty funny although the character is cartoonish.
Director Howard Deutch makes a valiant effort with this sequel to the 2000 hit; there's continuity in the characters although their lives have progressed since the events of the last film. The problem with The Whole Ten Yards is its story penned by Mitchell Kapner and George Gallo. While The Whole Nine Yards had an elaborate storyline it was easy enough to follow--everyone was basically trying to kill one another. Here the plot's equally convoluted but rather than interesting twists and turns we get inconsistencies and dead ends. Take Jimmy's new Suzy Homemaker role for instance. As the film opens Willis is traipsing around his Mexican villa in bunny slippers wearing a 'do-rag on his head fussing over dinner and the fact that the potatoes are supposed to be "floating around the lobster not just stuck there." We find out it's all an act but the reasons are never disclosed. By the time the film ends audiences will be asking themselves what it was all for. Perhaps the filmmakers thought the sight of Willis as a dowdy housewife would make moviegoers laugh so hard they'd forget to ask why.