Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel’s ongoing feud has hurt the Fast and Furious franchise. Diesel has been with the series since the beginning, with 2001’s The Fast and the Furious. Johnson, however, joined the franchise with 2011’s Fast Five. Despite Johnson’s introduction to the franchise being very well-received by critics and audiences alike, behind-the-scenes troubles between the Fast and Furious leading men began shortly after. Ultimately, the feud between Diesel and Johnson became public in 2016, during the production of The Fate of the Furious, when the latter actor published a now-deleted post on Instagram where he called unspecified male Fast and Furious cast members “candy asses.“
Immediately, people began speculating that Diesel was the target of Johnson’s post and the two actors continued to publish thinly-veiled social media posts targeting one another. Diesel and Johnson’s feud escalated during pre-production of F9: The Fast Saga when their co-star Tyrese Gibson blamed Johnson for the delay in filming. However, Diesel publicly defended Johnson from Gibson’s claims, but the damage was done and Johnson confirmed that he would not appear in F9: The Fast Saga. Though the Diesel-Johnson feud only became public in 2016, there are signs that it began several years earlier, during the filming of Fast & Furious 6.
The Rock & Diesel’s Feud Ruined One Hilariously Bad F&F6 Scene
It is certainly possible that the feud between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson started back in 2012, during the production of Fast & Furious 6, judging by this one hilariously bad scene from the movie. The scene is clearly trying to convey that Johnson’s Luke Hobbs and Diesel’s Dom Toretto are having a face-to-face conversation, but the actors’ blocking reveals that at no point in any shot are the two actors actually looking at each other. This scene has several different (awful) examples of forced perspective shots, which attempt to make it seem like the two actors are closer together than they actually are. However, it is never convincing.
The opening shot has Toretto walking toward Hobbs, but Diesel’s eyes never move, indicating that he is not looking at Johnson. It’s an utterly bizarre sequence that only seems to have been filmed through forced perspective in an attempt to shrink Johnson down to Diesel’s size. Vin Diesel, who produces the Fast and Furious franchise on top of acting in it, has significant control over the series and one explanation of why this Fast & Furious 6 scene was filmed this way is that he simply didn’t want to be physically overshadowed by Johnson. However, production troubles due to the feud would only continue past Fast & Furious 6.
The Rock & Vin Diesel’s Feud Meant They Didn’t Film Fate Of The Furious Together
Despite Luke Hobbs and Dom Toretto being two of the most important characters in the franchise’s eighth entry, The Fate of the Furious, Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel didn’t film a single scene together during production due to their feud. As a result, the two characters only appear in one scene together, but this was achieved through editing in post-production rather than by having Diesel and Johnson together on set at the same time. While this does not ruin The Fate of the Furious, due to Toretto’s storyline seeing him largely working with villain Cipher (Charlize Theron) for most of the runtime, the feud affected the film in additional ways.
Diesel used his position as a producer on The Fate of the Furious to cut an important Luke Hobbs scene from the film’s ending. The scene would have reunited Hobbs with his rival, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). Although the scene performed well with test audiences, Diesel had the scene cut from the theatrical cut of The Fate of the Furious anyway. Johnson was also supposedly agitated by reports of Diesel’s on-set behavior. Supposedly, Diesel was consistently late to filming days, causing delays. Diesel attempted to smooth over the cracks of the feud during The Fate of the Furious‘ marketing campaign, stating that he affectionately calls Johnson “Uncle Dwayne“.
However, Diesel’s efforts to repair his working relationship with Johnson did not pan out. As a result, the Fate of the Furious would be the last mainline Fast and Furious movie Dwayne Johnson worked on. Instead of continuing to appear with Vin Diesel in the mainline franchise, Johnson moved into a spinoff focusing on his Luke Hobbs character, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
Hobbs & Shaw Was Worse Than The Rock Appearing In F9
Although Hobbs & Shaw managed to become financially successful when it was theatrically released in 2019, the film pales in comparison to how good F9: The Fast Saga would have been with Dwayne Johnson involved. Despite being directed by John Wick‘s co-director David Leitch, the action in Hobbs & Shaw is nowhere near as exciting. Instead, Hobbs & Shaw‘s highlight is the banter between Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, which could have been easily adapted into F9: The Fast Saga if it weren’t for the feud between Johnson and Vin Diesel.
In fact, Dwayne Johnson was supposed to appear in F9 before confirming his absence from the film in January 2019. This indicates that his feud with Diesel was still underway, despite seeming settled publicly. Johnson thanked “brother Vin” for supporting Hobbs & Shaw on Instagram following the spinoff’s release. However, the feud was still ongoing in private, as indicated by Dwayne Johnson’s continued absence from the mainline Fast and Furious franchise.
The Rock’s Hobbs Probably Won’t Return For Fast X Or Fast 11 (When He Should)
Although Luke Hobbs was such an important character in the Fast and Furious series, to the degree that he even got his own spinoff film, he will not be appearing in the franchise’s last two mainline entries due to Johnson’s feud with Diesel. What makes this even more bizarre is that Fast X will feature flashbacks to Fast Five to introduce its villain, Dante (Jason Momoa). Fast Five was Johnson’s first Fast and Furious movie, and it will be incredibly weird to return to the film without his involvement.
Johnson’s continued absence from the Fast and Furious franchise has led to the series attempting to replace him. The Rock-less F9: The Fast Saga included fellow former professional wrestler John Cena as an antagonist-turned-hero, much like how Luke Hobbs was introduced in Fast Five. Again, Fast X looks to be attempting to replace the physically imposing Johnson with Jason Momoa. It is unfortunate that Dwayne Johnson has no interest in returning to the franchise due to his feud with Vin Diesel, one of the many ways that the feud has hurt the Fast and Furious series.
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