Confirmed: Vin Diesel will play Groot in Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy"

We had heard from Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige that official announcements regarding new cast members in The Avengers 2, Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy would be coming by the end of the year and that promise was held. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen will join Age of Ultron as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, respectively, and funnyman Paul Rudd was officially cast this week as Ant-Man in Edgar Wright’s long-in-development Marvel movie. And now, joining them in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be Vin Diesel as the alien known as Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn took to Diesel’s favorite social media platform, Facebook, to confirm the news with the photo up top earlier today, where Diesel has his arm around a bust of the character he’s playing. Gunn notes that there have been a few tweaks to the Groot design throughout the process what what’s shown above is what the character will look like in the film.

“Vin Diesel is a super awesome dude. I can’t tell you how much I like this guy."

While responding to Facebook comments, Gunn elaborated and clarified a few things – namely, that despite all the talk and reports of Diesel’s involvement – mostly from the star himself – he was never actually signed for the part, just interested and in talks. Now he’s on board and has already begun his recording sessions.

"He was never announced. 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. Also I hope this puts to rest all the silly Thanos-Vin stuff which people just seemed to make up out of nothing.”

Note the second part where he addresses the rumors that Marvel and Gunn may have been planning a bait-and-switch, making fans think Diesel’s only coming in for Groot, but actually playing (or also playing) the big bad villain known as Thanos – the alien dude at the end of The Avengers who smiles at the idea of “death.”

Still, we know Vin Diesel initially met with Marvel to talk about another, much larger role coming in 2016-17 and that’s still on the table. It’s a part that Diesel hints will “merge brands” and one of our more obvious theories is that he could be leading a movie based on another team of powered heroes called The Inhumans.