Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Vin Diesel and Jason Statham are all contractually obligated to not lose any fights. All actors first worked on the Fast & Furious franchise when Johnson's Luke Hobbs and Statham's Deckard Shaw joined the series via Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6, respectively. Now, however, they're off doing their own thing with the series' first spin-off, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, while Diesel remains working on the next installment from the main saga.
Outside of the Fast & Furious franchise, all three actors have had their fair share of action films under their belts. And most of the time, they're the faces of those other projects, effectively making them the most active action stars of this Hollywood generation. But aside from that, another common denominator for all of them is that they have specifically stipulated in their contracts that they can never lose in fights. In fact, their terms even go as far as deciding how many times they get punched in their movies.
A report from the Wall Street Journal uncovered this surprising detail about the contracts for Johnson, Diesel and Statham, at least when it comes to their Fast & Furious franchise involvement. The report details that “according to producers and crew members on the films, Mr. Statham, 51 years old, negotiated an agreement with the studio that limits how badly he can be beaten up on screen. Mr. Diesel, 52, has his younger sister, a producer on the films, police the number of punches he takes. And Mr. Johnson, 47, enlists producers, editors and fight coordinators to help make sure he always gives as good as he gets.” As it turns out, this is to make sure that no one among them looks weaker than the rest. The idea to put empirical value on every move came from Diesel, this way he can closely monitor how hard each one of them were beaten up.
This is an unorthodox agreement, and it doesn't seem like there's any reasoning behind it other than to preserve the egos of said actors. It's unclear if the same stipulations apply to all their other projects outside of the Fast & Furious franchise since it appears like these terms are specifically enacted due to the people they're sharing the screen with in the film series. It's no secret that Johnson and Diesel have had their difficulties with each other on the set, no word whether or not Statham is somehow involved in this conflict.
In any case, this particular contract stipulation sounds utterly ridiculous. While the Fast & Furious films are fictional, they're still rooted in reality. They're not fantastical in nature, so it only makes sense that their characters get beaten up, or in some cases, even die. Seeing Dominic Toretto, Hobbs, and Shaw always win works against the effectiveness of these films' storytelling. So while not losing a battle or not get beaten up make them look like cool action stars, ultimately, it makes their characters less compelling.
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Fast & Furious 9 (2020) release date: May 22, 2020