Johnson didn’t appreciate Diesel’s public attempts at coercion.
Dwayne Johnson’s role as Agent Hobbs in the Fast & Furious franchise has made him a standout player in its progression. However, after the most recent film released, Johnson made it clear that he was finished with the series and wouldn’t be returning for its next installment, which is due out in 2023. Last month, Johnson’s co-star, Vin Diesel, posted an open letter to him on his personal Instagram requesting his return.
“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,” Diesel wrote. “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.”
Unfortunately, it seems this letter had the opposite effect. In an interview with CNN, Johnson explained his frustration with Diesel’s public cajoling, labeling it as “manipulation.”
“I was very surprised by Vin’s recent post,” Johnson said. “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.”
Dwayne Johnson accused Vin Diesel of "manipulation" after he publicly asked Dwayne to return to the franchise despite private discussions.https://t.co/tfUrNFDpDt
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) December 30, 2021
“I didn’t like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker’s death,” Johnson continued. “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.”
Johnson did his best to conclude the matter on a positive note, saying “I truly wish my former co-stars and crew members the best of luck and success in the next chapter.”