If you were to ask Vin Diesel if he has a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he would tell you that he is playing the tree-like alien known as Groot in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy. That, however, is not the same story that is being told by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who has told The Huffington Post that there are on-going negotiations with Diesel to join the Marvel family, but that a deal has not yet been closed. But then how do you explain this video that the Fast & Furious star posted on his Facebook page yesterday with him walking around on stilts telling people that he's playing Groot?

That was the question that led Feige to comment on Diesel's status with Marvel. First commenting about the need for the actor to keep his thousands of Facebook followers entertained, the executive went on to describe the deal with Diesel as "close." Asked why we have yet to hear an official announcement about Groot's casting, Feige said, "I think it's close. I think it's close to being official for the Groot character. But, not 100 percent yet." Considering Diesel is already learning how to be a seven foot tall tree who constantly repeats his own name it's hard to tell exactly what it is that's throwing a wrench in the gears.

But Vin Diesel and Guardians of the Galaxy isn't the only Marvel news story that has been floating around in the last week. On Monday it was reported that the studio was trying to decide between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Paul Rudd as possible actors to play the title role in Edgar Wright's Ant-Man - which will be starting production in the first half of next year. Gordon-Levitt denied the rumor on Tuesday, but this is the third time that he has appeared in a Marvel casting rumor, the first two times being for Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy and the second for the lead in Dr. Strange. HuffPost asked Feige about this pattern and got the most perfectly politically neutral response you can imagine:
"Well, sometimes it's because we are legitimately talking, and sometimes it's just because he's a prominent actor out there now. And lots of rumors surround prominent actors."

There's a reason why Marvel has managed to maintain their reputation for secrecy.

But what about Rudd? Is there any truth to that story? "Nothing is true yet," Feige said. "I like Paul Rudd, too."

With Thor: The Dark World coming out next month we are sure to hear a lot more about Marvel's future and the road to and beyond Joss Whedon's The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Stay tuned!

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