Less than two months ago, Vin Diesel took to Instagram to publicly appeal to Dwayne Johnson to “fulfill his destiny” of returning to the Fast and the Furious franchise for the forthcoming tenth and penultimate installment. Speaking with CNN, the Black Adam star has finally responded to Diesel’s invitation, confirming that his firm decision of not returning as Luke Hobbs won’t be swayed by the F9 star’s emotional plea.
Johnson also went on to reveal that he was surprised by his former co-star’s public post because months prior, they’ve already privately discussed his decision with Diesel and Universal Pictures.
“I was very surprised by Vin’s recent post,” Johnson said. “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. 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.”
Johnson also expressed his disappointment with Diesel’s public post, describing it as manipulation because he shouldn’t had mentioned his children and Paul Walker’s death. Despite their differences, he still wishes the franchise and everyone involved to be successful in its final two installments.
“Vin’s recent public post was an example of his manipulation,” Johnson added. “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. 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.”
Fast & Furious 10 will once again be directed by Justin Lin, who will also serve as the director for the final installment. Chris Morgan is also attached to pen the penultimate movie. Even though the official cast hasn’t been announced, it’s highly likely that franchise alums Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Sung Kang are expected to reprise their respective roles.
The franchise began in 2001 with the release of Fast & Furious, which was followed by a number of sequels, spin-offs, video games, and merchandise. The cinematic franchise currently has a combined worldwide gross of more than $6 billion.