Actors Who Rejected Roles In Fast & Furious
What role did Eminem nearly play in a movie? For which actor was the role of Dom Toretto written for? (spoiler: it wasn't Vin Diesel) And how exactly did Universal plan to get Denzel Washington to work with them? We’re going to tell you about the actors who nearly starred in the Fast Saga, but missed their chance!
1. Luke Hobbs could have been completely different!
Can you imagine anyone else fitting the role of an ex-cop better than the Rock? Currently, the character of Hobbs can only be associated with this charming actor, but it wasn't always like that. The role of Hobbs was initially written for one particular actor, and it wasn't Dwayne Johnson! It was for Tommy Lee Jones.
But at one point, a fan of the saga wrote on her Facebook page that she would love to see how Diesel and the Rock worked together on screen, and this post had a dramatic impact. This idea inspired Diesel so much, that the role, which was initially meant for a different actor was given to the Rock instead.
There were also rumors that the role of Hobbs would have been given to Josh Brolin, whom we all know as Thanos from The Avengers. But we think that it was long before they decided to take the Rock. But let's be honest, he conquered the fans' hearts with his charisma, and he truly deserves all the love he gets. So the producers don't regret their choice at all.
2. Diesel wasn't the first choice for the role of Dominic Toretto!
This is hard to believe since the Fast Saga and Vin Diesel are inseparable. Diesel is responsible for one of the most well-known and famous franchises of our time. We can adore other characters from the saga all we want, but Dom is still the glue that holds the whole story together and makes it so incredible. But in the distant 2000, that wasn't the case.
During the making of the very first film, it was unthinkable that it would turn into a whole franchise and give us so many of our beloved characters. The director of The Fast and the Furious, Rob Cohen read an article about street racers and decided to make a movie about it. The main role was offered to Timothy Olyphant, and he was the reason why Universal agreed to take on the project. Although the actor declined the part, Universal stuck with The Fast and the Furious, and as you can see, they made the right choice.
The role of Dom was then offered to Vin Diesel, who agreed only after the script went through several changes. And this is the story behind the iconic Dominic Toretto.
3. Dom's sister might have looked different as well
The role of Dom's youngest sister was also specifically written for one particular actress, and it wasn't Jordana Brewster. Eliza Dushku, who played the role of Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was initially the only option for Mia's character. The producers thought that she fit the role perfectly because of her looks and her popularity, however, there was one "but"... Eliza decisively rejected Universal Studios.
Of course, the producers tried to replace her with an actress who had a name as big as hers, and considered Jessica Biel, Bijou Phillips and even Sarah Michelle Gellar! Although Sarah Michelle Gellar probably wouldn't have agreed to the role anyway, since, besides her main role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she also had several other projects.
However, there was another actress whom Universal wanted – Natalie Portman. But she also turned out to be too busy for the role of Mia Toretto. At that time, Natalie was already filming the Star Wars Prequels, which seemed more promising than a movie about street racers. If only they knew back then…
The role was given to Jordana Brewster, who was famous for her role in the soap opera, As the World Turns and had some parts in a few movies.
4. Denzel Washington nearly replaced Jason Statham
Deckard Shaw is one charismatic villain, who is impossible not to fall in love with. And it's exactly because of the chemistry between him and Hobbs that they created a spin-off. Except the role of the villain in the seventh movie was initially not meant for Jason Statham.
Wan shared that the role of the antagonist was supposed to be given to Denzel Washington, who had been on the producers' radar for a long time. Despite our huge love for Denzel and his roles in action movies, we really don't think that he would have agreed to take this role.
At around the same time he starred in Flight, and his role in that earned him several big nominations, as well as his role in the action movie 2 Guns. Maybe if Denzel Washington had agreed to take the role, The Fast Saga would have looked completely different. Unfortunately, we will never know now.
5. Deepika Padukone vs Nathalie Emmanuel
The role of Ramsay, which was eventually given to a Game of Thrones star, was written for a different actress. The Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone was offered the role in the franchise but had to decline it. She was acting in a Bollywood project Ram-Leela and couldn't leave it.
"I don't regret turning Furious 7 down,” she told India Today. “I had to work out things for Ram-Leela here, I couldn't have left the process mid-way, I had given my commitment here first.”
The story could have ended right there, but she had a proposal! Despite the fact that Deepika did not end up acting in the Fast Saga, she still got an opportunity to work with Vin Diesel. She soon received a role in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, in which she played the main role!
The role of Megan Ramsey was then offered to Nathalie Emmanuel, who shared in an interview with GQ that she had watched the movies from the franchise long before, and she is proud of the role she got.
“Universal was investing a lot of money into a mostly diverse cast before anyone was even thinking about that. We, actors of color, still have our struggles and challenges to overcome now, but we're doing so much more now than ever before.”
So this story ended happily for everyone who played a part in it.
6. Villain Who?
This actor played Doctor Who and has appeared in countless TV and film projects. Of course, we’re talking about David Tennant, who, unlike many other actors in this list, seriously considered a role in the franchise. David could have played the antagonist Owen Shaw in the sixth part of the Fast Saga and even held negotiations with the director Justin Lin.
We are confident that Tennant would have made an incredible villain, just look at his performance in Jessica Jones or Good Omens! However, he decided to decline the offer. The reason for that was to do the now-famous TV show Broadchurch, for which David ended up receiving numerous awards. The role was then given to Luke Evans, who, despite being busy with The Hobbit, agreed to take the role.
7. Back in the day when Eminem was an actor.
Twenty years ago, Marshall Mathers could well have played Brian, but something went wrong. Long before the main role of the movie was given to Paul Walker, Eminem made it to the shortlist of actors who were considered for Brian O'Conner's character.
But the famous rapper didn't sign the contract and instead signed up to act in a semi-autobiographical movie, 8 Mile. The 2002 movie was a hip-hop drama about Eminem's life growing up in the rap community of Detroit. The song from the movie even won an Oscar!
Despite the fact that Eminem never got to act in the franchise, he still managed to make a huge impact on it. He got involved in several tracks which appeared in the movies!
8. Ja Rule also lost his chance
Another rapper who recorded multiple songs for the movies, also refused to star in them. Okay, let's be honest, we got Ludacris, which we are extremely happy about, but at one point, his role could have been played by Ja Rule.
But we can understand Ja Rule here, he was offered the role of Tej Parker in the second movie which even Vin Diesel refused to act in. And if the very first movie is iconic, Tokyo Drift is unique and also a fan favorite, 2 Fast 2 Furious is the weakest of all the movies in the franchise.
Ja Rule's rejection looks pretty logical, even though it angered the second movie's director, John Singleton. In the interview with Grantland, he shared
“Ja got too big for himself. He turned it down. He turned down a half a million dollars,” Singleton said. “He was acting like he was too big to be in the sequel. He wouldn’t return calls.”
Luckily for John and the fans, Ludacris agreed to take the role.