It looks like the feud between Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson isn’t over: Diesel, a producer of “The Fate of the Furious,” killed plans for a scene at the very end of the mega-sequel that would have featured his co-stars, Johnson and Jason Statham, insiders exclusively told TheWrap.
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.
Another insider put it more diplomatically, saying that the sequence was initially shot as bonus content for home entertainment release. When studio executives and filmmakers reviewed the sequence that included Johnson and Statham, they “loved it,” but ultimately decided not to include it in the theatrical release because “the sequence would make for a better opportunity somewhere else,” the insider said.
Representatives for Moritz, Diesel, Statham, and Johnson did not respond to requests for comment. Representatives for the studio declined to comment on the scene.
Last year, during production of the film, Johnson expressed his frustrations with male co-stars he didn’t identify. “Some conduct themselves as stand-up men and true professionals, while others don’t,” he wrote on Instagram. “The ones that don’t are too chicken s— 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.”
TMZ reported at the time that Diesel was the co-star Johnson was calling out, because the former WWE wrestler wasn’t happy with Diesel’s producing decisions. It also cited anonymous “production sources” who said Johnson and other members of the crew were upset that Diesel regularly arrived late to shoot scenes, spending time in his trailer instead. TMZ’s sources also said Diesel was arrogant, and criticized his co-stars’ acting.
Last week, Diesel was asked about the disagreement with Johnson, and avoided going into specifics.
“I don’t think the world really realizes how close we are, in a weird way,” Diesel told USA Today. “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.”
“The Fate of the Furious” opens tonight.
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