The Fast and the Furious: Shady Facts About The Franchise

The Fast and the Furious 1 was released 18 years ago. Since 2001 the franchise team has filmed 8 original series and 1 spin-off. No doubt that during all these years its cast became almost a real family. With all the same problems which usual relatives do have.

What went on between Tyrese Gibson and The Rock? And why was Vin Diesel absent from the second and third Fast and Furious films? Why was everyone's favorite Michelle Rodriguez on the verge of leaving the franchise? And how did Vin Diesel convince her to stay? We’re going to tell you all about the scandals that occurred between your favorite Fast and Furious actors!

Movies without Vin Diesel

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Did you ever wonder why Vin Diesel didn't make an appearance in the second and third part of the story? Every fan of the franchise understands that at the heart of the Fast and Furious family, at the core of the whole story is Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel. It's easy to see that when there have been an epic NINE films, with at least two or three more in the pipeline.

But back in 2003, things were a little more... complicated. During the development of the first Fast and the Furious sequel, Universal really wanted to get Vin Diesel to work with them, even going so far as to write a whole separate script just for him… But were also planning a script without his participation on the off-chance the actor decided to turn down the role.

So the studio had two scripts waiting for production as they were still deciding whether Vin Diesel should take part in it or not. Despite the promised 25 million dollar fee, in the end Diesel rejected the part on offer. Owen Williams, who interviewed Vin Diesel, explained why the actor made that choice in an answer on Quora. “I didn’t like the script for the second one, and [original F&F director] Rob Cohen didn’t like it either, so neither of us wanted to do it. But it wasn’t just that. I felt like the way to ruin a classic, or to prevent a movie from becoming a classic was to sequelize it – at that time.”

Vin wanted the second movie to be "a classic" like the first one but the sequel clearly didn't meet his stringent standards. Funnily enough, Diesel disliked the movies’ name most of all!

"And I didn’t like the title of 2 Fast 2 Furious. Of course not. Are you joking? I was like, really guys, this is a serious movie, not a clown show.”

That's a curious statement to make, considering where the franchise is now! Refusing to act in the sequel, Diesel placed all his bets on personal passion project sci-fi/fantasy epic The Chronicles of Riddick… and made a HUGE mistake. The movie's box office amounted to a mere 115 million dollars, with Vin Diesel nominated for a Razzie Award as the worst actor of the year!

Soon after this, the director of the first Fast & the Furious movie,Rob Cohen, left the project too and was replaced by John Singleton. The focus of the story changed to the relationship between Bryan and his friend Roman Pierce, played by Tyrese Gibson. Despite the debatable script, and the departure of the franchise’s main star and principal director, 2 Fast 2 Furious paid off big time and earned more than 200 mill. So another sequel was inevitable… While all of this was going on, Vin Diesel was still making the Chronicles of Riddick which despite his high hopes would turn out to all be for nothing.

And yet in spite of the losses, Vin still wasn’t done with his own star vehicle... but in the end decided to return to the Fast and Furious family for the third movie of the franchise. But what was his price?

Part three – Tokyo Drift, wasn't as spectacular as the first two films and didn't feature any original characters, yet it became a very important part of the franchise. Firstly, Justin Lin took over the role of the director and Lin did such a good job that the studio would go on to endorse him for the next three parts of the Fast franchise, with every new film managing to elevate things to a whole new level. 

Secondly, the third movie introduced a fairly important character, Han, whom the audience loved so much that the writers had to resurrect him for three more films. Lastly, in exchange for a cameo in the film, Vin Diesel asked Universal not for money but for the rights to film the third part of The Chronicles of Riddick. Ironically, the third movie in Vin’s own fantasy films was a disaster at the box office and is still considered the worst of the Pitch Black trilogy. So we hope it was worth it for Vin to play out his live-action role play dreams on the silver screen!

Even though Tokyo Drift showed somewhat mediocre box office results, part four of the Fast Franchise went on to be a megahit and marked the start of a new era for the films. As mentioned Justin Lin returned as director and Vin Diesel not only rejoined the cast but also cemented his participation in the project as a producer and, on top of all that, the whole cast of the original movie agreed to be a part of the film.

Critics may not have rated the movie highly, but the box office returns proved the public love for the films was firm; with Fast and Furious going on to gross 360 million dollars. So it goes without saying that all the films that followed went on to make bigger and bigger bank.

Scandals in the #FastFamily

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Getty Images

Even though the cast of the franchise often calls itself a family, fitting the main theme of the movies well, in reality, they don't get along quite so smoothly. When The Rock first appeared in the fifth movie, fans figured out which turn the story would take straight away. Movies about car races morphed into action movies where events at times looked more like fantasy than reality.

Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel seemed to get along very well on the set, though, and when their friend Paul Walker died in a car accident the fate of the franchise sadly fell into the hands of the two main stars.

As Diesel said: “When I was making that difficult decision, should there be an 8 or not, I called [Johnson] and he said, “Brother, I will be there shoulder to shoulder with you to make sure it's the best movie in history.” And he delivered.”

And yet, things seemed to sour between the two Fas Family “brothers”... We were to find out all about their difficulties from the Rock's Instagram. Under one of his posts, he used the hashtag "zero tolerance for candy ---", thereby christening all this commotion "The Candy- --- Feud".

The post is long since gone, but let this be a lesson to you: what goes up on the web, stays on the web. The internet is written in ink, not pencil! The Rock added that the audience would understand what he was talking about when they watched scenes with him and Vin in the next movie The Fate of the Furious. A week later, the Rock dropped another cryptic clue about the feud when he made another post on Instagram, thanking everyone for shooting this movie... except for Vin! 

The furor lasted all the way up to the movie's premiere, where Diesel affirmed (maybe a little unconvincingly) that "We still love each other". This was seemingly at odds with Vin Diesel’s interview a few days earlier where he told USA Today that "It's not always easy being an alpha. And it's two alphas". No joke, that’s the quote!

As we later found out, Vin and Dwayne’s inability to find a common language on set was so severe that there turned out to be not a single scene of the two together in the finished film. That's not something we'd call a “minor” conflict.

Nevertheless, the recent release of Hobbs & Shaw officially marked the end of their feud. Not long ago, The Rock publicly thanked "brother Vin" for the spin-off on his Instagram, and congratulated him on his wedding which took place this summer. "Lauren and I appreciate the wedding congratulations, and we send love right back to you and Paloma," he replied. But even though the two are friends now, there is someone else from the Fast family who can't stand The Rock…

When a friend becomes a foe

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Tyrese Gibson actually attempted to patch things up between Johnson and Diesel when their conflict began. He had been friends with The Rock for many years and wanted to play the peacemaker for the two alphas of the FastFamily, who he felt had gotten out of control.

The franchise family was very important for Tyrese so when The Rock announced a spin-off where he will play the lead role in 2017, his friend Tyrese actually felt betrayed. Gibson wrote on his Instagram:

"You will have purposely ignored the heart to heart moment we had in my sprinter." "I don't wanna [sic] hear from you until you remember what we talked about. I'm on your timeline cause you're not responding to my text messages – #FastFamily is just that a family........ We don't fly solo."

When news came out that due to the upcoming spin-off, the premiere of the ninth movie of Fast and Furious would ALSO be postponed by a year, Tyrese Gibson made his feelings public once more. "Congratulations to @TheRock ... for making the fast and the furious franchise about YOU," a gutted Gibson wrote on Instagram.

Tyrese continued sniping via the medium of Instagram, blaming his colleague for leaving the family and betraying it for the sake of his own spin-off film. According to Tyrese, The Rock was allegedly supposed to have rejected his own project, like Paul Walker and Vin Diesel had when they’d also received similar proposals in the past.

Nevertheless, Jason Statham and the Rock were offered a separate spin-off due to their incredible on-screen chemistry which, we have to admit, had us glued to the screen! The film came to simply because of the fans demanded it: wanting to see more of the duo’s relationship dynamics, not because the studio suddenly decided to write a selfish spin-off about The Rock.

Despite these numerous accusations, The Rock didn't deign to reply to his colleague but also mentioned neither he or his co-star had spoken since their "feud" and that "there's no need to have a conversation".

But even after two years, Tyrese Gibson's grudge hasn’t gone away and the actor refuses to stay silent about the situation. When The Rock proudly announced Hobbs & Shaw made $330 million worldwide in the first week of the movie's release, Gibson couldn't resist a bitter observation that one doesn't betray family for money. Tyrese even reportedly refused to star in the ninth movie if The Rock would be in it. 

Ill-fated female spin-off

Another actor nearly refused their role in the next movie, but for very different reasons. We’re talking about Michelle Rodriguez and the ill-fated female spin-off. Letty Ortiz plays a crucial role in the story of the Fast films and Dom is ride or die ready to do absolutely anything for her. However, Michelle Rodriguez doesn't feel like that attitude is reflected in their off-screen relationship and even considered leaving the franchise.

“I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one. Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise.”

We all know that the Fast and the Furious is Vin Diesel's baby, so this accusation is clearly a direct attack on the star. Even though the media was happy to blow the issue out of proportion, making it look like a huge conflict between two stars of the franchise for the sake of something to report on, Vin and Michele soon put out their own rebuttal, once again on Instagram, dismantling all the rumors.

Michelle said he was “the biggest supporter of strong women,” and that, “I’ve always appreciated that about you throughout the years. And just know if I ever post anything, that’s not you [that] I’m talking to.”

However, the word of Michelle quitting the franchise left a mark with the movie’s producers and at the start of 2019, Vin Diesel proudly announced an all-female spin-off film. We don't know who from the original cast is going to star in the movie just yet but we can clearly expect Michelle to be there, and possibly even superstar actress Charlize Theron who’s slated to appear in Fast and Furious 9.

And on the topic of Charlize Theron, we can’t close out this video without telling you about one of the most entertaining dramas that occurred on the set of the Fast and Furious films.

The kiss between Charlize and Vin

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Getty Images

During the promotional tour for the eighth movie in the franchise, curious journalists asked the actors for salacious and scandalous details about what it was like to kiss each other. Surprisingly, Vin and Charlize had very different things to report!

Vin Diesel told USA Today, "Charlize Theron is not a bad kissing partner to have. Do I know she enjoyed it? Oh, my God, yeah. A kiss cannot lie, lips don’t lie. No, they didn’t. She owned it."

However, Charlize’s opinion of Vin’s lip-locking prowess was less than complimentary,

with the star denying Vin’s claims when she appeared on the Ellen show. "I mean, you can see it. My hand is forcing his face. I'm the crazy chick that's doing this horrible thing to him and, as he should've, his character is just standing there frozen, like a dead fish..." "...That's what I was kissing, and he's literally going around, saying that I had the best time of my life. ... It's insane!" While we can’t say for sure what the kiss was REALLY like, one of the actors is DEFINITELY exaggerating about the performance! And we won't point fingers as to who it might be…

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