The Fate of the Furious star Vin Diesel is addressing the reported feud between he and co-star Dwayne Johnson, saying the whole thing is being overblown. While Diesel, along with his late co-star Paul Walker were the stars who helped power the hot rod action franchise at the beginning with The Fast and the Furious in 2001, the film was followed by up-and-down returns with its sequels over the years. As a result, more names were added to the franchise including Gal Gadot and Johnson, and their stars each rose with the films' escalating global box office returns.
While Gadot exited the series in Fast & Furious 6 to quickly be cast as Wonder Woman for the DCEU, Johnson remained, and he's arguably become the biggest box office draw in the world. That presence has afforded him the opportunity to speak up whenever he feels the need to, and Diesel was the apparent target of his criticism in a not-so-subtle Facebook post by Johnson near the end of The Fate of the Furious filming last summer.
As The Fate of the Furious prepares to rev full-throttle into theaters next week, Diesel, even though he wasn't named specifically in the post, has had no choice but to address the controversy doing press for the film. In an interview with USA Today, Diesel likens the disagreement to a family argument, and like the de-facto family that makes up the characters in the Furious franchise, there will be fights. Diesel says:
"I don’t think the world really realizes how close we are, in a weird way. I think some things may be blown out of proportion. I don't think that was his intention. I know he appreciates how much I work this franchise. In my house, he’s Uncle Dwayne."
As one of the producers on the film, Diesel says taking shots comes with the territory:
"I protect the franchise. I protect everybody including Dwayne. I protected Dwayne more than he’ll ever know. And it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t have to know. But he appreciates it. He knows it. Dwayne has only got one Vin in his life. Dwayne Johnson only has one big brother in this film world and that’s me."
There's no question that Johnson's purported beef with Diesel is legitimate, consider a lot is riding on the expectations for The Fate of the Furious, the eighth film in the $4 billion franchise. Furious 7's global box office take quickly exceeded the final numbers for the first six Furious films, so it's not hard to imagine an attempt at something even more spectacular with the new film is going to make for an intense set.
Once the box office tally comes in for the opening weekend of The Fate of the Furious, expect Johnson and Diesel's dust-up to become ancient history. It certainly won't become anything like the legendary Hollywood Feud of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, so Johnson and Diesel shouldn't expect Ryan Murphy or FX to come calling soon.
Source: USA Today
- The Fate of the Furious (2017) release date: Apr 14, 2017