The next instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise – Fast and Furious 10 – is due to hit theatres in 2023. It is set to be the final conclusion to years of riding, crime, and mentions of the family for anyone to keep count. While the movie might like to feature some of the biggest faces of the franchise, Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel still aren’t on the best of terms.
Beginning after the movie Fate of the Furious, Johnson posted a cryptic message on social media calling out some of his male co-stars, saying: “Some conduct themselves as stand-up men and true professionals, while others don’t. The ones that don’t are too chicken to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses”.
While many had suspected that this was referencing Diesel directly, Diesel’s retaliation when speaking to USA Today was much more possessive, explaining: “I protect the franchise. I protect everybody including Dwayne. I protected Dwayne more than he’ll ever know. And it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t have to know. But he appreciates it. He knows it”.
Despite being two of the biggest power players in the franchise, Diesel chalked up the animosity between them as both of them being “two alphas”. Seeing how Diesel started with the franchise in the early 2000s as Dominic Toretto, he seemed to want more control over where the series was going without Johnson’s input. Although Johnson was still on hand to star in the franchise, his own projects like Hobbs and Shaw gave him more free reign to do what he wanted with the character of Luke Hobbs.
Though things might not have been cordial behind the scenes, Johnson and Diesel often took the time to be professional in public. When the spin-off film Hobbs and Shaw was released, Johnson thanked Diesel for his support of the film and his role in the franchise. Since then, Diesel has also taken credit for Johnson’s acting ability in the Fast series.
He opened up about his role as a producer during an interview Men’s Health, stating: “As a producer to say, OK, 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—Hobbs hits you like a ton of bricks”.
As fans gear up for the final ride, Diesel took to Instagram asking Johnson to return to the fold, explaining: “The time has come. 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”.
While fans would be thrilled to see Hobbs back in action again, Johnson saw Diesel’s post as another example of his manipulation tactics, telling CNN: “Vin’s recent public post was an example of his manipulation. I didn’t like that he brought up his children in the post. Leave them out of it. We had spoken months ago about this and came to a clear understanding. 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”.
The Fast and Furious franchise might be some of the most adrenaline-fuelled films of the past few years, but that relentless need for control has tainted some of those fraternal bonds.