Vin Diesel has announced a 'merging of brands' with Marvel Studios, and while no one is quite sure what this means, the actor has hinted that he will star in one of 2016's Marvel Phase Three films. Which film that will be, and how it will merge the Vin Diesel and Marvel brands is anybody's guess.

Speculation is running high. Some believe that Vin Diesel is merely referring to himself as a 'brand', and its his own unique way of saying, yes, he will be the lead in a future Marvel movie, playing one of their more iconic characters. Other's believe that he is referring to the first crossover between Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man franchise and Disney's Marvel's The Avengers franchise, playing, who else, the Kingpin. Keep in mind, this is just fan speculation run rampant, and Vin Diesel is most likely referring to himself as a 'brand', nothing else.

The Fast & Furious 6 actor has found it impossible to keep any of his Marvel dealings secret, which is usually a prerequisite when getting into bed with the company. He himself revealed that he was taking a meeting with Marvel back in July, an announcement that blew up in his face when he went to promote Riddick at Comic-Con. There were no immediate plans for Vin to star in an upcoming Marvel project, the earliest being 2016. But the move actually worked in his favor, as the next day, plans were set in motion for him to voice Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy.

After this bit of news leaked, Vin Diesel still couldn't keep his mouth shut. He soon revealed to fans that Groot was never the intention, and that he and Marvel were still planning something huge. The actor has now appeared on Conversations with Maria Menounos, where he spoke extensively about exactly what happened with Marvel, and how this 'merging of brands' came to be.

You can watch the interview here:

Vin Diesel first talks about how his meeting with Marvel wasn't for anything immediate, and that they wanted an eventual merging of brands that will culminate in a 2016 Marvel Phase Three film.

"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 enroll 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."

The actor goes onto reveal how his loose lips eventually lead to his role as Groot, and that he is still planning something for 2016 with the studio.

"We had agreed not to say anything about the specifics of the meeting. So, now I've got the fans that I love more than I love the industry, than I love everybody... I was thinking "I've got to be real with them, I've got to tell them something" and yet I want to be respectful of people's process and if people like to do a slow reveal, you know?

Quite frankly, it would have been too much to say and it might have been anticlimactic to say "We're working on something for 2016" and so I just said "You're going to hear some really big news" and I left at the end of that and it went crazy.

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..."

This lead to producer Kevin Feige and director James Gunn wooing the actor with Groot concept art for Guardians of the Galaxy. The actor will only have one line in the film, "I am Groot." Though, he will be required to say the line in many different tones and inflections, and right now, the actor claims he will be performing the motion capture himself, which will likely be greatly aided by CGI to accommodate his schedule.

So, what do you think? Who do you hope to see Vin Diesel playing in the flesh? And what are your thoughts on this 'merging of brands'?

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange