American actor Dwayne Johnson, who played the role of “Luke Hobbs” in Fast & Furious, has said that he will not be returning for the franchise finale.
Speaking with CNN, Dwayne condemned the manipulative effort of co-star, Vin Diesel, to get him back on set, despite his insistence not to return.
Recall that Diesel had in November invited Dwayne to rejoin the cast via an instagram post.
Referencing the cordial relationship his children shared with the former wrestler, Diesel pleaded publicly with Dwayne to return.
“My little brother Dwayne… the time has come. The world awaits the finale of Fast 10. 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.”
He added “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.”
However, the public plea angered Dwayne who described the move as “an example of his (Diesel) manipulation”.
He said he had told Diesel behind closed doors he could no longer continue acting and was shocked by his public outburst.
“I was very surprised by Vin’s recent post. 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,” Dwayne told the outlet.
“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,” Dwayne said.
“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,” he added.
Meanwhile, Diesel said the bad blood between them was caused by his “tough love” while performing his producer duties during the movie production. He admitted he was tough on the actor to bring out his best performance.
Speaking with Men’s Health in July, Diesel said “I could give a lot of tough love. Not Felliniesque, but I would do anything I’d have to do in order to get performances in anything I’m producing.
“It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character. My approach at the time was a lot of tough love to assist in getting that performance where it needed to be.
“As a producer to say, ‘Okay, we’re going to take Dwayne Johnson, who’s associated with wrestling, and we’re going to force this cinematic world, audience members, to regard his character as someone that they don’t know.’”
Dwayne who joined the Fast franchise in 2011 as Luke Hobbs has gone on to feature in its sixth, seventh, and eighth chapters. Fans are hoping that Dwayne’s exit would not cause a setback for Fast & Furious 10 due to be released by May 19, 2023.
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