Dwayne Johnson has gone on record to say he will not be rejoining the “Fast and Furious” franchise, despite Vin Diesel’s repeated invitations, for the upcoming 10th film.
Back in November, Vin Diesel took to Instagram to ask Johnson to bury their feud and return to the multi-billion-dollar franchise. The two actors fell out back in 2016, clashing during the making of “The Fate of the Furious.” Diesel, who also serves as a producer on the films, said he was ready to bury the hatchet.
“My little brother Dwayne… the time has come,” he wrote at the time. “The world awaits the finale of Fast 10. 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.”
In a new interview with CNN, Johnson says the two already agreed he would not be returning to the films in private, and accused Diesel of being manipulative in bringing his children into the social media post.
“I told [Diesel] directly that I would not be returning to the franchise. 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,” Johnson said. “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. We had spoken months ago about this and came to a clear understanding.”
Johnson, however, did wish well for the rest of his “Fast and Furious” team. “My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible franchise with gratitude and grace,” Johnson said. “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… I truly wish my former co-stars and crew members the best of luck and success in the next chapter.”
Johnson has been part of the “Fast and Furious” franchise since 2011’s “Fast Five.”
The pair’s feud has been well-documented (and immortalized with Johnson calling out his “chicken shit” and “candy ass” co-star on social media), and Diesel has owned up to his role in creating tension on the set. As part of a Men’s Health profile back in June, “Fast” actor and producer Diesel said the “tough love” he gave The Rock in trying to get a great performance out of him is what led to the reported tension. “It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character,” Diesel said at the time. “My approach at the time was a lot of tough love to assist in getting that performance where it needed to be. As a producer to say, ‘Okay, we’re going to take Dwayne Johnson, who’s associated with wrestling, and we’re going to force this cinematic world, audience members, to regard his character as someone that they don’t know.’”
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