'Guardians of the Galaxy': Vin Diesel Poses With Groot (Photo)

Vin Diesel Groot - H 2013
UPDATED: Marvel.com confirms Diesel will play the the character in its upcoming space adventure film.

Vin Diesel continues to tease a role role in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy, this time posting a photo on Facebook of himself hugging a model of Groot, the character he has long been speculated to be playing.

Several hours after Diesel posted the photo, Marvel confirmed he will play the giant tree character.

Before Marvel made its announcement,Guardians director James Gunn shared Diesel's photo on WhoSay writing, "Vin Diesel is a super awesome dude. I can't tell you how much I like this guy."

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On Facebook, Gunn played coy when fans asked if this was confirmation of the casting, telling one, "Sorry man not yet." But when another fan also asked if this was confirmation, Gunn wrote, "I hope so because I'd hate to think I spent all this time recording him for no reason."

The director also had this to say about the Groot model Diesel posed with: "This was the bust we used for reference when shooting. It has changed slightly from this since we started animating him." Later Gunn nixed the idea that Diesel would be playing Thanos, the purple villain teased in a midcredits scene in 2012's The Avengers.

"I hope this puts to rest all the silly Thanos-Vin stuff which people just seemed to make up out of nothing," Gunn wrote.

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In October, Diesel posted a video of himself testing out stilts for a motion-capture role in Guardians. In the video, he teased the role by saying he plays "a seven-and-a-half-foot tree" with "one line in the movie."

Guardians of the Galaxy  stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Benicio Del Toro, John C. Reilly and Glenn Close. It's slated for an Aug. 1, 2014 release.