As Fast & Furious gears up for its final films in its franchise, Dwayne Johnson has made it clear that he has no plans to return despite an invitation from series star Vin Diesel.
In November, Diesel wrote to the former WWE wrester in an Instagram post, asking Johnson to reprise his role as secret agent Lucas Hobbs for the latest film.
“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,” wrote Diesel.
“I told you years ago that I was going to fulfill my promise to Pablo. I swore that we would reach and manifest the best Fast in the finale that is 10!”
"I say this out of love... but you must show up, do not leave the franchise idle you have a very important role to play. Hobbs can’t be played by no other. I hope that you rise to the occasion and fulfill your destiny."
However, in a new interview with CNN, Johnson responded to the public request with criticism saying that he and Diesel had already previously reached an agreement in private about his role in the franchise.
“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.”
He went on to wish the film, as well as its stars, continued luck and success in the future.
“My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible franchise with gratitude and grace,” Johnson said. “It’s unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters. 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.”
Johnson joined the Fast & Furious franchise with 2011’s Fast Five. The character of Agent Hobbs was originally an antagonist to Diesel’s Dominic Toretto, though Johnson’s character later joins his side.
Johnson bowed out of the mainline series following his appearance in 2017’s The Fate of the Furious, teaming up with Jason Statham to headline a spin-off, 2019’s Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.