After joining the franchise as Hobbs for Fast Five, as well as the subsequent sixth, seventh, and eighth films, Johnson departed the main Fast & Furious series due to a rumored feud between himself and cast member Vin Diesel. However, he’s still signed on for the sequel to the Fast & Furious spinoff movie Hobbs & Shaw, which was announced last year.
Back in November, Diesel posted a public olive branch towards Johnson to Instagram, asking his “little brother” to return to the role of Hobbes for Fast & Furious 10. You can read Diesel’s full post below:
Rather than mend the broken ties between them, Diesel’s statement only drove Johnson further away. “I told [Diesel] directly that I would not be returning to the franchise,” Johnson told CNN. “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…”
Not only did Johnson find Diesel’s post unnecessary, he found it manipulative. “Vin’s recent public post was an example of his manipulation,” Johnson continued. “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.” The deceased Walker was one of the main stars of the franchise’s first film, The Fast and the Furious, which came out in 2001.
“My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible franchise with gratitude and grace. It’s unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters,” Johnson stated. “Regardless, I’m confident in the Fast universe and its ability to consistently deliver for the audience… I truly wish my former co-stars and crew members the best of luck and success in the next chapter.”
Fast & Furious 10, which will be directed by Justin Lin, is scheduled to be released on May 19, 2023.