Without bringing back The Rock, the Fast & Furious film franchise will have to come to a stop. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson first appeared in the franchise in 2011’s Fast Five, as Luke Hobbs. In the sixth, seventh, and eighth films, he reprised his role. Since then, the character has gone on to appear in his own spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw, in which The Rock co-stars alongside Jason Statham.
Johnson did not appear in Fast & Furious 9, owing to a quarrel between him and Vin Diesel on the Fast & Furious production. Finally, The Rock decided he didn’t want to deal with it any longer and declared publicly that he wouldn’t be returning for the final two Fast movies. Diesel later wrote a statement on Instagram begging Johnson to return in F10 and F11. The Rock emphasized in a new interview with CNN that there was “no chance” he would return, and the Instagram post just made matters 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 claims that his problems were limited to Diesel, and he expresses his support for the rest of the Fast & Furious cast and crew. He indicates that he’d prefer all of these issues with Diesel to go away, but he insists that he’s rooting for the main series’ final installments to do well nonetheless.
“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.”
The intention for F10 was for the penultimate film in the series to begin filming in January, according to reports. According to Vin Diesel, the film would be shot back-to-back with F11. If Dwayne Johnson was going to return, it had to happen quickly, but it appears that those dreams have been dashed.
View this post on Instagram
Fast & Furious 10 is scheduled for a release in theaters on May 19, 2023.