The Rock Rejected Vin Diesel’s Invitation to Return in Fast X

The Fast & Furious franchise just recently released Fast X, and it is billed as the beginning of the end for the franchise, reuniting many plot threads and characters. Yet, in the lead-up, one notable character was missing. Luke Hobbs, who was played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and debuted in the franchise in 2011’s Fast Five, going on to reprise the role in the sixth, seventh, and eighth films. The character has since branched out to lead his own spinoff with The Rock, co-starring with Jason Statham in Hobbs & Shaw.

Updated June 1, 2023: This article has been updated with more news following the release of Fast X as well as the news of a new Dwayne Johnson Fast & Furious solo movie.


Johnson did not appear in F9, and this was largely due to the friction between the actor and Vin Diesel on the Fast & Furious sets. Ultimately, Dwayne Johnson decided that he didn’t want to deal with it again and publicly announced he wouldn’t return for the franchise. Diesel later posted to Instagram a message pleading for Johnson to return in Fast X & F11. “The world awaits the finale of Fast 10,” Diesel wrote in his original Instagram post. “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. I told you years ago that I was going to fulfill my promise to Pablo. I swore that we would reach and manifest the best Fast in the finale that is 10!”

In an interview with CNN, The Rock reiterated that there was “no chance” he would come back, and the Instagram post only made things worse.

“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. 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.”

The Rock also suggests that his issues were only with Diesel, and he lends his support to the rest of the cast and crew involved in the Fast & Furious franchise. He hints that he’d rather have had all of these problems with Diesel and stay quiet, but regardless, he says he’s rooting for what will be the last installments of the main series to do well anyway.

“My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible 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… I truly wish my former co-stars and crew members the best of luck and success in the next chapter.”

Yet, despite Dwayne Johnson insisting he would not return to the franchise, that has since changed. Dwayne Johnson reprised his role as Luke Hobbs in the mid-credit scene for Fast X. The scene seemed to imply that Hobbs will be a major character in the upcoming Fast & The Furious 11. It is unclear if this was always the plan and if the post from Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel was an old-school wrestling tactic to build up buzz for the movie or if it was genuine on both their parts, but Johnson eventually changed his mind.

Dwayne Johnson Is Back, But Not For Fast & Furious 11

Universal Pictures

On June 1, 2023, it was announced that Dwayne Johnson would be returning to the Fast & Furious franchise, but not in Fast & Furious 11, as the mid-credit scene to Fast X implied. Johnson is set to star in an untitled Fast & Furious project and will feature a script by Chris Morgan, who is also returning to the franchise after having sat out F9 and Fast X. Johnson is signed on as a producer, but the film notably will not be Hobbs & Shaw 2 but instead acting as a bridge movie between Fast X and Fast & Furious 11. This might be what Vin Diesel was implying when he said that they were considering making Fast X part of a trilogy.

Why Did The Dwayne Johnson Change His Mind

Warner Bros. Pictures

There are multiple indicators that suggest Dwayne Johnson was set on not returning to the franchise but has returned for business reasons. Originally Dwayne Johnson seemed to have all of his chips bet on Black Adam, the Warner Bros. DC movie that was supposed to be a new kick-off for the DCEU. It was setting up a fight with Superman in a sequel as well as multiple Justice Society spin-offs.

However, Black Adam underperformed at the box office, and it also may have impacted the box office of Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Shortly after the release of Black Adam, James Gunn, and Peter Safran became new heads of the DC Studios and plan to relaunch the DCEU as the DCU. Black Adam had no placement in their first set of plans, indicating that Dwayne Jonhson’s time as the character was over.

With no word on when the next Jumanji movie will be arriving in theaters and the live-action Moana remake just being announced, Dwayne Johnson is in need of a franchise, and his schedule just became a lot more open. Since Fast X and Fast & Furious 11 were no longer filming back to back, it was easy to include Luke Hobbs in the mid-credit scene. Now Johnson can return to the franchise and be part of the main story without having to share a scene with Vin Diesel. It appears there is still plenty of bad blood between the two.

You can view the original article HERE.

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