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Vin Diesel wants you to think he's in Marvel's next big franchise

Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

On Monday morning, there was a buzz about a Marvel movie we won't even see until 2018. Vin Diesel (or someone on his team) swapped the cover image on his Facebook page to one that refers to Marvel's Inhumans movie:


The Inhumans, a race of people with wondrous superpowers, have become major players in Marvel's comic books, and "Are You Inhuman?" is the tagline for their upcoming movie. Diesel's image strongly hints he's somehow involved in the new project.

Here's why people think this image suggests that:

1) He's done this before

This isn't the first time that Diesel has hinted at involvement with the Inhumans. Back in August, Diesel made a post on Facebook that also hinted at his involvement with the Inhumans:

That was before Marvel had announced it was making a movie and around the time people were wondering what Marvel was going to do next. Guardians of the Galaxy had opened to big box office numbers and was universally well-received, and it increasingly seemed Marvel could do no wrong.

In hindsight, now that we know that Marvel is planning an Inhumans movie, Diesel's tease makes it seem as if he's been in on Marvel's future plans for a while.

2) Vin Diesel would be the perfect Black Bolt


Black Bolt is the leader and face of the Inhumans. He's superhumanly buff to the point where his muscles have muscles. With that in mind, casting Black Bolt would require someone who has action movie pedigree and someone who could physically (or at least look like they could) go toe to toe with WWE wrestlers.

The number of actors who could play a convincing Black Bolt would already be slim, but with actors like Tom Hardy, The Rock, and Jason Momoa, signed on to DC projects and Bautista reprising his role as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians 2, those numbers are even slimmer.

And Diesel, it just so happens, would be perfect for the role. He's physically imposing enough to command Black Bolt's gravitas. And Black Bolt's brooding nature wouldn't expose his weaknesses as an actor — other members of the Inhumans like Black Bolt's wife Medusa, or the charismatic villain Maximus do the heavy lifting when it comes to emotions, depth, and humor.

3) And it could all work out


There's one loophole that could conceivably allow Diesel to play Groot and Black Bolt in the same movie: Black Bolt doesn't talk. One of Black Bolt's powers is that he can release huge amounts of energy when he speaks — he can level planets with a scream but can also do some damage with a whisper. It's a blessing and a curse, as Black Bolt has the power to defeat bad guys but has to be constantly vigilant about speaking.

What this means is that Diesel could play Black Bolt and Groot, and only have to use his voice for one of the roles. There wouldn't be any confusion that two of the characters sound the same, and Marvel would have a nifty little gimmick in having Diesel's image for one character and his voice for another.

To be clear, all this talk lives in the possibility of what Marvel "could" do and that's far removed from what it would "want" to do. It would probably prefer to have another A-lister take on Black Bolt, to compete with the buzz vibrating from Warner Bros.'s Suicide Squad, and it would probably want to be more flexible with the Inhumans, as it's a franchise that could — if it includes Ms. Marvel, one of Marvel's biggest hits in years — appeal to younger audiences than the Avengers — who could seem a bit long in the tooth by 2018 — do. Those are only two of Marvel's plethora of options.

But even if Marvel doesn't choose to cast Diesel or include him in an Inhumans plot, it certainly doesn't hurt that he's a good company man.