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?