Guardians of the Galaxy has been a massive hit for Marvel and Vin Diesel’s character Groot was a big part of that success, but was he cast because of his massive social media presence?

Now, before Diesel fans start throwing rocks, hear us out on our social media theory.

If you’re a fan of the Fast and Furious actor, you’re well aware that he has a whopping 83.6 million Facebook fans. If that doesn’t impress you, it should. He has more likes than any other actor on the planet and is very in touch with his fans – something studios would be very interested in using to their advantage to increase a movie’s exposure.

For reference Will Smith is the next actor on the list, with 10 million fewer fans, which is pretty astonishing considering how massive of an actor Smith has been over the last 20 years.

With the international box office becoming more and more essential for a film’s success, having an actor with such a massive social media presence in the international market is key.

Guardians of the Galaxy pulled in $94M at the box office during its opening weekend, which is incredibly impressive for an entirely new group of superheroes. It has just crossed $500 million worldwide today, with nearly half of that coming from international markets without being released in China, Japan, Germany or Italy yet. It’s also now Vin’s most successful film ever at the domestic box office.

Recently, there was an interview released which featured Kick Ass 2 actress Chloë Grace Moretz. While being asked multiple questions about her latest film If I Stay, she explained that her most bizarre experience while auditioning for a role was when a casting director asked her how many Twitter followers she had at the beginning of an audition.

‘If you don’t Instagram or Tweet your movies then they aren’t going to succeed’

 

For reference the actress has 1.1 million Twitter followers, which is a fairly respectable number for a talented actress of her age and popularity. But she explained that she couldn’t believe that the casting director even cared enough to ask her during an audition.

She insinuated that her social media presence was deemed vital for her chances of landing the role with this large film and she revealed that she did not end up getting the role. Now, Moretz could have not gotten the role for a multitude of reasons, but this is the first time we’ve ever heard of an actor being directly asked how large of a social media presence they have.

vin diesel social media facebook fans fox

Moretz continued, saying, “Instead of being asked how you want to approach [the role], they tell you that if you don’t Instagram or Tweet your movies then they aren’t going to succeed.” This is a very surprising statement and if it’s happening with other actors (which is highly likely), then it’s truly a paradigm shift from what we’ve seen in the past with actors and auditions.

Normally actors are asked to read scripts, meet other cast members already involved, talk with studio heads, directors, writers, producers, you get the point. Twitter followers or Facebook likes haven’t exactly been the first things that come up when an actor shows up for an audition for a massive film.

Back when Vin Diesel was making his way around the web saying that he was going to have a role in a new Marvel movie, he was throwing out some massive hints, pointing at posters in Marvel Studios’ offices, posting an image of The Vision on Facebook and then taking it down and that’s when everyone began speculating.

Most believed that with his size, tough guy persona and deep voice that he’d be playing the villain that every Marvel film is building up to: Thanos.

That role ended up going to actor Josh Brolin, who we heard for the first time in Guardians of the Galaxy as Thanos and The Vision role ended up going to actor Paul Bettany, who previously voiced J.A.R.V.I.S. in the Iron Man trilogy and The Avengers.

vin diesel groot small social mediaAfter all the speculation Vin Diesel finally revealed that he would be voicing Groot, the character essentially no one outside of comic book fans even knew or cared about. What no one could have expected was that Groot would end up being one of, if not the biggest, highlights in the entire film despite saying only three words (four if you count the one time he said “we”).

Guardians of the Galaxy had a unique problem, in that not even American audiences knew who the superheroes were, the director wasn’t a household name, neither were the actors, and the story was entirely in space.

The actor best known in the film was two-time Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper, who wasn’t even on screen, but voiced the second most popular character Rocket Raccoon.

Marvel have proven to be incredibly smart and when taking a look at all of the check boxes for Guardians, they undoubtedly had a big box with “find an actor with international appeal” beside it to check off.

That’s where Vin came in. The actor has the biggest international appeal of any Hollywood actor on social media and if you check out his official Facebook page, you’ll see his over 80 million fans eating up every Guardians of the Galaxy related post he made over the last six months leading up to Guardians’ release.

This was even more apparent when Groot became a star during Guardians of the Galaxy’s #1 run at the box office. The actor posted pictures of himself wearing “I am Groot” t-shirts which had millions of views and likes. International and stateside fans were falling over themselves to share Diesel’s posts about the film on Facebook and he was trending, along with his character who a year earlier 99% of the world had never even heard of.

‘I am Groot’ has become Marvel’s new ‘I am Iron Man’

Despite the fact that Chris Pratt was the star of the film, and did one hell of a job as the leading man, everyone wanted to hear three little words from Vin Diesel at all the premieres around the globe – and why not? It’s catchy, we can use it online in nearly any situation and now “I am Groot” has become Marvel’s new “I am Iron Man.” Fairly lucky for them, considering the latter phrase had become a bit stale, they get a new one just in time for it to become a global phenomenon.

Guardians of the Galaxy desperately needed international appeal because it barely had any domestic appeal prior to its last few trailers, which is really when fans truly started gaining interest and it began generating traction due to solid word of mouth after early reviews started to roll in.

This isn’t intended to discredit Vin Diesel’s work as Groot in any way, because he was obviously brilliant, but because of Groot’s one line, nearly anyone (with a deep voice) could have voiced Groot and most likely would still have been a gigantic hit with moviegoers. His beloved presence was felt because of the incredible VFX artists working their magic to bring this tree-like character to life and tap into our deepest emotions.

vin diesel groot wide

Especially considering one of the most memorable parts of the film was when baby Groot was dancing during the mid-credits scene – a scene where Groot doesn’t speak at all. But when fans can put a face to the character, it becomes all the more popular and even more advantageous to Marvel for promotional purposes.

So, what does all of this mean? Was Vin Diesel the right guy for the job? You bet he was, but maybe not because of his unique voice and unlikely due to his past experience doing voice work on The Iron Giant.

Marvel have become marketing ninjas and they saw the potential to include a cast member that only has three words, yet would bring them 80+ million adoring fans spreading the word that Vin Diesel, the actor with 80 million strong, is the voice behind the heartstring-pulling superhero in their latest film.

Guardians of the Galaxy owes quite a bit of its success to Diesel and we would never take that away from him, but Marvel is behind-the-scenes pulling the strings in exactly the right way and there’s no doubt in our mind that they’re a lot smarter than the rest of us.

Which means their casting choice for Groot may have been a bit more about brilliant promotion as opposed to brilliant voice work.

The real question is how this will affect casting in the future. Will the first question during all auditions become: How many Facebook fans do you have?

It wouldn’t surprise us in the least.

Chris Pratt is currently on a press tour for Passengers. Jennifer Lawrence may or may not be there too.

Passengers, the new sci-fi epic starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, comes out later this month. The promo tour has kicked off in Europe, with the two stars on hand to answer all our questions.

To entertain himself (and his fans!), Chris Pratt has been updating his Instagram with funny photos and captions from the tour.

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Chris Pratt is currently on a press tour for Passengers. Jennifer Lawrence may or may not be there too.

Passengers, the new sci-fi epic starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, comes out later this month. The promo tour has kicked off in Europe, with the two stars on hand to answer all our questions.

To entertain himself (and his fans!), Chris Pratt has been updating his Instagram with funny photos and captions from the tour.

There’s some real gold in there, but the best part is when he realizes that fans really want to see some pictures of Jennifer Lawrence — who doesn’t have her own social media accounts — and proceeds to very decidedly not include her!

Update: He did it again.


See some of the hilarious posts from Chris Pratt below:

Finally got that selfie with Jen y'all wanted. #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Just hanging with my bestie Jen. #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Here Jen and I pose with @elrubiuswtf

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Here's an extremely artistic and meaningful video I made in which Jen is heavily featured. #passengersmovie

A video posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Another day down with me and my best buddy Jen. #London #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Not going to lie — we’re almost as excited for the press interview videos as we are for the movie itself!

‘Passengers’ hits cinemas on December 21

Gilmore Girls‘ final four words left Rory’s story on quite the cliffhanger. Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino breaks down what it all means.

After years of waiting, the Gilmore Girls revival gave fans the highly anticipated final four words. They delivered a shocking revelation for Rory, while bringing the series full-circle. Fans (and some writers) were left confused and angry, while some felt oddly satisfied.

But what exactly did Amy Sherman-Palladino have in mind for those four words all those years ago? And what do they mean now for the future of the show as it stands?

Read full article

Gilmore Girls‘ final four words left Rory’s story on quite the cliffhanger. Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino breaks down what it all means.

After years of waiting, the Gilmore Girls revival gave fans the highly anticipated final four words. They delivered a shocking revelation for Rory, while bringing the series full-circle. Fans (and some writers) were left confused and angry, while some felt oddly satisfied.

But what exactly did Amy Sherman-Palladino have in mind for those four words all those years ago? And what do they mean now for the future of the show as it stands?

Could ‘Gilmore Girls’ feature an abortion?

Gilmore Girls final four words

Never say never. That is the motto of Amy Sherman-Palladino after she went from saying “no” to a Gilmore Girls movie years ago to witnessing a revival come to life. The creator mentions to Buzzfeed that Rory is at a crossroads. “I think that somebody as smart as Rory is going to take a step back and look at all the angles, and then make her decision, because it’s too important a job to make the wrong decision when it comes to kids,” Sherman-Palladino comments.

Rory’s original story arc saw her entering this pregnancy at 22. Fresh out of college, the world was at her feet.

But, even at 32, Rory is just as unstable as ever. This is partially due to the fact that Amy Sherman-Palladino had to get her character back to the state of life she originally pictured Rory hitting.

A Year in the Life highlights how much growing up Rory still needs to do. She is no spring chicken who can rely on one good piece of writing to get her through the door. Rory always pushed the olive branch life extended to her until this point. Finally, it gave out and snapped back. The final four words sent her tumbling into reality.

Gilmore Girls revival rory lorelai

Sherman-Palladino acknowledges that Rory must consider who she is and how that will affect the well-being of her child. Even though 32 is certainly not as young as 22, Palladino notes, “32 is frickin’ young, man.”

Lane’s pregnancy gave away a piece of the story that Sherman-Palladino hoped would belong to Rory. However, it did not ruin her master plan by any means. Speaking to TV Line, the creator adds, “By the way, Rory doesn’t have to keep the baby. There are choices here that she can make. It’s just the left turn. It’s that curveball that life throws you. I will say, weirdly, that I like it much more now.”

gilmore girls rory kids

Not many series take the leap into tackling abortion. However, the few that do, namely Jane the Virgin‘s Xo story arc, approach it from a place of care and consequence. While religion plays a large role in Jane, the well-being of the mother, quality of life for the child, and emotional ramifications of the decision are universal circumstances.

Gilmore Girls viewers may not ever see the decision Rory makes in regards to her future.

It’s less about the boy and more about the mom

Gilmore Girls Luke truck

Team Logan, Team Jess, Team Dean, Team Paul (if you exist) can all put down their fighting arms. Sorry, but the next step for Rory in this moment is not obsession about a boy, but an examination of her options.

Sherman-Palladino goes on to say to TV Line, “Her discussion with Lorelai is going to be about, ‘What do I do? Where do I go from here?’ It’s not going to be about, ‘I can’t believe it’s this boy that wound up [being the father].'”

There are no cliffhangers

Gilmore Girls emily lorelai

Wait… what? You read that correctly. Amy Sherman-Palladino believes that the series left questions, sure, but it is closed for now. The final four words were meant to be — say it with me now — the final four words.

Finally, Emily finds some happiness in her darkest days spearing imaginary whales. Meanwhile, Lorelai lingers in her post-marital bliss. But Rory’s story does not close a chapter at all. Instead, a new chapter of her story at the same age as we found Lorelai all those years ago.

The cyclical nature of Gilmore Girls is a comfort to some, but not all. How do you feel?

Tris and Four’s story isn’t over just yet. A Divergent epilogue is on the way from series author Veronica Roth.

The Divergent epilogue is titled We Can Be Mended and will be released in January 2017. It’s “a short story that gives a glimpse into Four’s life five years after the conclusion of the Divergent series,” according to Veronica’s website.

It won’t be too easy to get, at least initially. We Can Be Mended will be sent as a printed book to those who pre-order Roth’s upcoming book Carve the Mark, which is set to be released on January 17.

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Tris and Four’s story isn’t over just yet. A Divergent epilogue is on the way from series author Veronica Roth.

The Divergent epilogue is titled We Can Be Mended and will be released in January 2017. It’s “a short story that gives a glimpse into Four’s life five years after the conclusion of the Divergent series,” according to Veronica’s website.

It won’t be too easy to get, at least initially. We Can Be Mended will be sent as a printed book to those who pre-order Roth’s upcoming book Carve the Mark, which is set to be released on January 17.

To get the Divergent epilogue you must upload a copy of your Carve the Mark receipt on this website. The epilogue will be sent 4-6 weeks after Carve the Mark’s publication.

Here’s the cover (notice the Ferris wheel?):

divergent-epilogue-book

‘Divergent’ epilogue plot

“A little while ago, my editor asked me if I had anything special written because she wanted to offer something to people who pre-ordered Carve the Mark since they’re usually the same people who supported the Divergent books so much,” said Roth on Tumblr. “I told her that I did have something written.”

“I’ve always said that the Divergent series felt complete to me, but a little while ago, I realized there was still some of the story I had left untold. So I wrote something just for myself about what Tobias had been up to in the years after Allegiant.”

Allegiant was published in 2013, and a collection of short stories starring Four was published the following summer. This’ll be the fifth short story Roth has published from the world of Divergent.

It’ll be interesting to see what’s going on in Four’s world so long after losing Tris. Will everything be okay? HAS HE FOUND A NEW GIRL? We could all use a little hope right now!

Maybe Lionsgate will use the new information to help adapt their fourth and final Divergent movie, which is titled Ascendant and may or may not be filmed for a television release.

Related: It’s perfectly fine for Shailene Woodley to bail on the final Divergent movie; In fact, she’s smarter for it

Carve the Mark is the first in a new series. The book’s trailer was unveiled earlier this week.