It’s official: Dwayne Johnson says there is “no way” he’ll return in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, placing former co-star Vin Diesel between the Rock and a quick spot.
In a November Instagram post, after years of tension, Diesel implored his former co-star in November to reprise the role of Luke Hobbs in the 10th installment of the popular film series – with references to their children, citing the legacy of the late star. Paul Walker and imploring Johnson to “realize your destiny”.
Turns out, the “Hobbs & Shaw” spin-off star had already made up her mind and was surprised by Diesel’s opening.
“Last June, when Vin and I didn’t connect through social media, I told him directly – and in private – that I wasn’t coming back to the franchise,” Johnson said recently in a sprawling interview with CNN.
“I was firm but cordial with my words and said that I will always support the cast and always support the success of the franchise, but that there was no way I would return.”
Johnson made his franchise debut in the box office movie “Fast Five” in 2011 and has appeared in three other sequels. In 2016, he said he clashed with anonymous male co-stars while filming “Fate of the Furious” in 2017, sending fans dizzying to his future with the global phenomenon.
Johnson told CNN he spoke privately to his Universal Pictures partners about his decision and that they “were very supportive because they understood the issue.” He was therefore disappointed to see the speech return to social media.
“Vin’s recent public message was an example of his manipulation,” Johnson continued. “I didn’t like him raising his children at the post office, as well as the death of Paul Walker. Leave them out. We talked about it months ago and we clearly got along. My goal from the start was to end my amazing journey with this amazing “Fast & Furious” franchise with gratitude and grace. It is unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters.
The star and former wrestler of “Red Notice” and “Jungle Cruise” said he has confidence in the universe of “Fast” and “its ability to respond consistently to the audience.” He also wished his former co-stars and crew “the best of luck and success in the next chapter.”
Meanwhile, his production team, Seven Bucks Productions, is developing a sequel to “Hobbs & Shaw”. And the 10th “Fast & Furious” is set for release in May 2023 and will be directed by Justin Lin, who helmed the second through sixth films and 2021 pandemic hit, “F9: The Fast Saga”. Diesel and “Fast” veterans Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Sung Kang and Nathalie Emmanuel are currently expected to return.
Representatives for Diesel did not immediately respond to the LA Times request for comment on Thursday.
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