Not even millions of dollars, maturity, and the loss of a dear co-star can get The Rock and Vin Diesel to get together to shoot Fast & Furious scenes.
A brief reminder of how we got into this Vin / Rock feud: Last summer, when announcing he had wrapped on Fast 8, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson hinted on Instagram that he had been at odds with a Fast & Furious actor. TMZ later reported that the person Rock was feuding with was none other than his co-star Vin Diesel. The two actors met after the Rock’s cry for help and apparently attempted to bury the hatchet.
This is my final week of shooting #FastAndFurious8. There's no other franchise that gets my blood boiling more than this one. An incredible hard working crew. UNIVERSAL has been great partners as well. My female co-stars are always amazing and I love 'em. My male co-stars however are a different story. Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don't. The ones that don't are too chicken shit to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses. When you watch this movie next April and it seems like I'm not acting in some of these scenes and my blood is legit boiling – you're right. Bottom line is it'll play great for the movie and fits this Hobbs character that's embedded in my DNA extremely well. The producer in me is happy about this part?. Final week on FAST 8 and I'll finish strong. #IcemanCometh #F8 #ZeroToleranceForCandyAsses
Why did they start hating each other? According to TMZ:
The Rock has been upset with Vin’s work ethic for a long time, and he’s not alone. Members of the crew tell us Vin was often 30 minutes to an hour late to shoot scenes … and it wasn’t because he was late to the set — he was simply in his trailer and wouldn’t come out.
We’re told Vin didn’t like Monday 7 AM calls so production was forced to make the start time 10 AM to accommodate him.
And the crew felt Vin’s arrogance was out of control, especially because he had a producer title. We’re told he wouldn’t listen to anyone and would goad people, including The Rock, by criticizing their acting.
Now, just a day before the release of The Fate of the Furious, reports from Vulture and The Wrap have revealed that things are just as bad as they’ve ever been between the two stars.
First, Vulture writes about how clear it is in Fast 8 that the two actors were rarely — if ever — working together:
The first scene between Dom and Hobbs is conducted over the phone, and in the next scene, as the whole team races to steal an EMP device, the movie skips the usual “here’s the plan” prologue that would have placed Dom and Hobbs in physical proximity, instead opening in the middle of the chase and leaving the bulk of the work not to the actors, but to their stunt drivers. (Even then, the action is choreographed in a way where Diesel and Johnson don’t share a shot.) The heist sequence culminates with a stunt: Dom goes rogue, smashes into the car Hobbs is driving to flip it, and then saunters over to the wreck to steal the EMP device while Hobbs is trapped helplessly inside.
This is a big moment for the franchise and a turning point for the movie. You’d expect to see Hobbs staring in disbelief at his friend turned enemy while Dom stares back, ruthless in his betrayal. Instead, as Dom takes the EMP, Hobbs shoots daggers at his former friend’s … legs. The shots featuring Johnson are so clearly edited to obscure Diesel’s stand-in that I even started to wonder whether an entirely different character had come to steal the EMP and we were gearing up for a twist reveal. At the end of the scene, though, as Johnson remains trapped in the car, we finally see both Diesel and Johnson as Dom walks away. It’s the only shot of the entire movie where the two men appear to be sharing the same space, though given the very specific staging, I wouldn’t be shocked if you told me they’d split screened it, Good Wife–style.
Meanwhile, The Wrap reports that Vin Diesel forced a scene to be cut from the movie that would’ve seen more screen time for The Rock and Jason Statham. The decision to scrap the scene from the movie came only recently — theater owners had to send back their copies of the film:
The scene — described as a short “tag” to the story — featured The Rock’s character, Luke Hobbs, and Statham‘s character, Deckard, who develop a rapport over the course of the film.
“They had early screenings where Johnson and Statham popped so much on-screen together that they were looking at doing a spinoff,” one insider said.
The tag would have kept their banter going — but Diesel intervened, according to people close to the production.
Producer Neal Moritz had the tag filmed without Diesel’s knowledge, the insiders said. When executive producer Samantha Vincent, Diesel’s sister, learned of the scene and told Diesel, he became enraged, according to the insiders.
They said Diesel then called the film’s studio, NBC Universal, to explosively air his grievances. The studio had all the theatrical prints recalled and cut the scene, the insiders said.
With two more movies in the works, it’ll be interesting to see if The Rock and Vin Diesel decide to truly bury the hatchet or continue to work separately. For what it’s worth, Vin recently spoke positively about his co-star while promoting The Fate of the Furious to USA Today:
“I don’t think the world really realizes how close we are, in a weird way,” says Diesel, who steered clear of the specifics of their disagreement. “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.”
Get along, boys!