“This past June, when Vin and I actually connected not over social media, I told him directly – and privately – that I would not be returning to the franchise,” the rock said. “I was firm yet cordial with my words and said that I would always be supportive of the cast and always root for the franchise to be successful, but that there was no chance I would return. I privately spoke with my partners at Universal as well, all of whom were very supportive as they understand the problem.”
For context, Diesel made an appeal to the rock on social media a little over a month ago, calling for him to reprise his role as Luke Hobbs for the 10th installment of the “Fast & Furious” franchise.
“My little brother Dwayne… the time has come. The world awaits the finale of Fast 10,” Diesel wrote. “As you know, my children refer to you as Uncle Dwayne in my house. There is not a holiday that goes by that they and you don’t send well wishes…but the time has come. Legacy awaits.”
The post didn’t sit well with the Jungle Cruise star, who shared that he felt “surprised” at the public beckoning. “Vin’s recent public post was an example of his manipulation. I didn’t like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker’s death. Leave them out of it,” Johnson told CNN in December. “My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible Fast & Furious franchise with gratitude and grace. It’s unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters. Regardless, I’m confident in the Fast universe and its ability to consistently deliver for the audience, and I truly wish my former co-stars and crew members the best of luck and success in the next chapter.”
The spat between the two began in 2016, when the cast and crew were filming for The Fate of the Furious. In an interview with Men’s Health magazine, Diesel clarified that he had used “tough love” to push Johnson to achieve top results in embodying the Hobbs character.
While the two have seemed to settle their differences (save for this most recent issue), the “Fast & Furious” films continue on. Universal has slated the 10th “Fast & Furious” movie for May 19, 2023.
Art Macky Arquilla