How The Rock and Vin Diesel’s Feud Affected Fast & Furious Films

How The Rock and Vin Diesel’s Feud Affected Fast & Furious Films
The dispute between starring actors Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson altered the production of the Fast & Furious films. The Fast and the Furious series debuted in 2001 with The Fast and the Furious, starring Diesel and Paul Walker. Johnson returned to the series in 2011 with Fast Five. However, the two stars battled on the set of the subsequent sequels. Johnson later left the major narrative of the series for the spin-off Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw due to the dispute.

Diesel and Johnson’s animosity became public in 2016, during the filming of The Fate of the Furious. Pre-production on the sequel, F9, was similarly hampered by the conflict, and Johnson finally announced his departure from the film, resulting in screenplay modifications. Instead of leaving the series entirely, Johnson and Jason Statham launched the Hobbs & Shaw spin-off. Diesel subsequently sought to get Johnson to return to the Fast Saga segment of the franchise with Fast X, the series’ last instalment. Johnson, though, refused once again.

Rock and Vin Diesel’s Feud Explained

During the production of The Fate of the Furious in 2016, Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s animosity became public. Johnson called unnamed cast members “sugar asses” in an Instagram post that has since been removed. Though he did not clearly specify the subject of his rage, it was instantly assumed that he was mocking Diesel. The rivalry continued on social media, with both singers exchanging veiled comments. In September 2016, their co-star Michelle Rodriguez acknowledged that there were conflicts between Diesel and Johnson on film, but that the two were capable of putting their disagreements aside.

Following a production delay on F9: The Fast Saga, Tyrese Gibson entered the conflict, blaming Johnson and his Seven Buck Productions producing partner Hiram Garcia for the continuing issues. Diesel then seemed to defend Johnson by alleging that the franchise has “maintenance concerns.” Johnson subsequently stated that he will not be returning to the series in the ninth chapter of the Fast and Furious franchise.

The dispute may have started with Johnson’s casting in Fast Five. Only with the fifth instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise did the series begin to thrive, both critically and economically. This was owed in part to the hiring of Johnson, an actor who consistently finds box office success as well as hefty wages. Diesel, who appears as Dom and also produces the Fast & Furious trilogy, is famously protective of the brand and often refers to himself as a patriarchal figure among the cast and crew. Johnson has described the conflict as a “fundamental philosophic divide.”

The feud resulted in one hilarious Fast Six scene.

While the dispute between Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson did not become public until 2016, it is very plausible that it began during the filming of Fast & Furious 6. A moment in the film is produced to make it seem as though Diesel and Johnson are having a face-to-face discussion, but the comically terrible forced perspective utilised to make them look the same size also makes it plain that they are not even looking at each other. Johnson seems to alter size with each shot throughout the action.

Filmmakers must account for uneven eye lines in forced perspective shots since the actors will not be staring at each other because one will be farther away from the camera than the other. This sequence in Fast & Furious 6 seems to make no effort to address this, with Diesel and Johnson clearly staring past each other. It’s an odd directorial decision that seems to exist just to reduce Johnson down to Diesel’s more ordinary height. This sequence might be proof of the two actors’ enmity impacting the Fast & Furious films even before The Fate of the Furious.

Shooting F8 became more difficult as a result of the feud.

Dwayne Johnson said after the release of The Fate of the Furious in 2017 that he and Vin Diesel did not film a single scene together. Diesel also utilised his role as a producer on the film to delete a sequence that was supposed to take place at the conclusion of The Fate of the Furious, reuniting Johnson’s character with Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw. Despite highly strong test audience reaction, the sequence was omitted from the theatrical cut and was only included as an extra on the film’s home video release. Johnson seemed to be irritated not just by this, but also by Diesel’s actions on set. Diesel was allegedly always late for shooting.

Diesel broke his silence on the conflict during the marketing campaign for The Fate of the Furious. He argued that it was a thing of the past and that the press had overblown the situation. He also revealed that he utilised his position as a producer to “guard” Johnson, whom he lovingly refers to as “Uncle Dwayne.” Diesel also said that he employed “tough love” with Johnson in order to acquire the performance he desired from his character. Following Diesel’s words, Johnson exposed the philosophical disagreements between the two throughout production.

Hobbs and Shaw received F9 from the Rock.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson did not return to the core Fast & Furious series after The Fate of the Furious. Both Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson announced their return for F9: The Fast and the Furious in April 2017, however by April 2018, Johnson had changed his mind. Johnson claimed that he was focused on the spin-off Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and that he was unsure whether he would return for F9. Johnson officially announced his departure from F9 in January 2019, however he did not rule out returning to the series for future episodes.

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