Just when Dwayne Johnson thought he was out of the family, they pulled him back in.
The action superstar has closed a deal to return to the “Fast & Furious” franchise in a new film from screenwriter Chris Morgan, IndieWire has confirmed. Unlike Johnson’s 2019 spinoff “Hobbs and Shaw,” the untitled film will take place within the main storyline of the franchise. However, it will not be an official numbered “Fast & Furious” film. The project has been described as a story that bridges the events of “Fast X” and the upcoming “Fast X: Part II,” which is expected to be the final film in the series.
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The news marks a major reversal for Johnson, who had publicly dismissed the idea of returning to the franchise. After playing Luke Hobbs in five “Fast & Furious” movies beginning with 2011’s “Fast Five” and ending with “Hobbs & Shaw,” Johnson famously departed the franchise on bad terms with Diesel.
The two actors clashed while working together on previous “Fast & Furious” movies, with Johnson taking issue with Diesel’s work ethic. The feud between the two stars escalated in 2021 when Diesel used his personal social media channels to publicly ask Johnson to reconsider his decision to leave.
“My little brother Dwayne… the time has come,” Diesel posted on Instagram. “The world awaits the finale of Fast 10. As you know, my children refer to you as Uncle Dwayne in my house. There is not a holiday that goes by that they and you don’t send well wishes… but the time has come. Legacy awaits.”
Johnson made it clear that he did not appreciate Diesel’s tactics and once again closed the door on a reunion in a subsequent interview.
“I told [Diesel] directly 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,” Johnson said. “Vin’s recent public post was an example of his manipulation. I didn’t like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker’s death. Leave them out of it. We had spoken months ago about this and came to a clear understanding.”
But Johnson’s relationship with the franchise appeared to be improving when he made an uncredited appearance as Hobbs in “Fast X,” leading many to speculate that a larger return could be imminent.
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