With the exception of reciting a number of different variations of the line "I am Groot" in three films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Diesel has somewhat surprisingly stayed away from the realm of superheroes and comics in his onscreen career, preferring action or sci-fi franchises like The Fast and the Furious or the Riddick films.
But that's changing now, with the actor accepting the part of Valiant flagship character Bloodshot. Created in 1992 by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin, and Bob Layton, Bloodshot (real name Angelo Mortalli) is a former soldier whose body contains literally a billion nanocomputers that give him enhanced strength, healing, and shapeshifting powers, as well as the ability to interface with technology.
In an interview with Comicbook.com, Diesel explained his decision to do the film.
"Well first of all it was a New York Times bestseller, and there's something interesting about the way that the character doesn't abandon his humanity. It's not heightened reality, it's based in reality. It deals with issues like post-traumatic stress disorder," he said.
"The script was one of the most interesting scripts I've ever read," he added. "It plays with your mind in a way you can't, that you don't normally see in movies. It's so complex. It's so well written and so well developed... you're going, 'I guess I expected we'd finally get here in the superhero universe, but I can't believe we're here.' "
Sony Pictures and Valiant intend for Bloodshot to launch a full-on Valiant Cinematic Universe, with movies based on Harbinger (and the Harbinger Wars crossover event), Shadowman, Faith, and others in the works.
Diesel weighed in on what he thought would set the VCU (not the official name, at least not yet) apart from the other comics-based film franchises, noting that "Sony is finally going to lead the charge in the superhero movies of the future, because they're incorporating a part of reality and incorporating issues that exist in society and embedding them in a 'superhero movie.' It's just awesome."
As for why why Diesel was the ideal actor (here's one idea of how he might look in the role) to bring Bloodshot to the screen, producer Dinesh Shamdasani noted how the character's everyman quality syncs up with Diesel's persona.
"He's an ordinary guy that through extraordinary situations becomes this larger than life character," Shamdasani said of Bloodshot, "and the thing that's amazing about Vin is that even though you and I sitting here next to him and he's a monster and he's got the 'it' quality, on screen he has this amazing ability that you can watch him and say 'Man, I could be Vin. I could be that guy. He feels like us.' "
Bloodshot is in production now under the supervision of director Dave Wilson, with a script by Eric Heisserer (Arrival) and a cast that also includes Guy Pearce (Iron Man 3), Sam Heughan (Outlander), Talulah Riley (Westworld), Eiza Gonzalez, and Toby Kebbell (Kong: Skull Island). The film is due out Feb. 21, 2020.
Do you think Vin has what it takes to make Bloodshot compelling and different enough to make Valiant Comics a major film presence?