Actor has fuelled rumours by posting a picture of the character, named Groot, on his Facebook page

Vin Diesel could be about to join Glenn Close and Zoe Saldana in Marvel’s new superhero ensemble movie Guardians Of The Galaxy.

According to Deadline, Diesel is “in negotiations” to play a character called Groot, an extra-terrestrial tree-like creature who made his comic book debut in 1960.

As well as possessing the ability to control trees, Groot can absorb wood to recover from injury and boost his immense strength. He is known for his catchphrase “I am Groot” which, apparently, is the only thing he’s ever heard to say.

Diesel has fuelled the rumours by posting a captionless picture of Groot on his Facebook feed. Earlier this summer Diesel revealed that Marvel had requested a mysterious meeting with him and the actor later appeared to hint at a role in The Avengers 2 by decorating his Facebook page with the picture shown to the right.

Meanwhile, director James Gunn began shooting Guardians of The Galaxy in London last month (July). The film centres on a team of superheroes – including Star-Lord, Drax The Destroyer and the memorably-named Rocket Raccoon – who appear in a 2008 comic book series of the same name. Marvel is hoping the film will kickstart another big screen franchise like The Avengers.

The film’s bumper cast also includes John C Reilly, Benicio del Toro, Parks And Recreations actor Chris Pratt and former Doctor Who assistant Karen Gillan. Marvel has set a release date of August 1, 2014.