Dwayne Johnson has made it official:
He’s done with two things…
- The Fast & Furious franchise.
- Vin Diesel.
Despite (or, perhaps, because of) starring opposite one another in a number of these beloved action films, Johnson and Diesel have been in an open feud for years.
Back in 2016, Johnson called out Diesel for being unprofessional on the set of Fast 8 and, ever since, it’s been on between the wildly successful actors.
On Instagram last month, however, Diesel appeared to maybe offer up a peace offering.
"My little brother Dwayne… the time has come," he wrote, referencing the potential next movie in the aforementioned franchise.
"The world awaits the finale of Fast 10," Diesel added at the time.
He then concluded:
"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.
As he continued to try and convince Johnson to sign on for yet another Fast & Furious blockbuster, Diesel brought up the pair’s late co-star, Paul Walker, by his nickname, Pablo.
"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! I say this out of love… but you must show up, do not leave the franchise idle you have a very important role to play.
"Hobbs can’t be played by no other. I hope that you rise to the occasion and fulfill your destiny."
Not really, according to Johnson.
"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," Johnson told CNN on Wednesday.
"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."
Johnson added that he also informed Universal Pictures about his decision and "all of whom were very supportive as they understand the problem."
Was Diesel’s heart in the right place when he made his public plea?
But Johnson sounds aghast that he exploited Walker’s tragic death in such a manner.
Johnson referred to his foe’s post an "example of his manipulation," saying:
"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."
Johnson said that after his earlier conversation with Diesel, he thought they had a "clear understanding" and hoped to leave the franchise with "gratitude and grace."
However, he feels the "this public dialogue has muddied the waters" at this point.
This is what Johnson told CNN:
"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."