Before Hobbs & Shaw, a brief history of Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel’s ugly feud
Before the Fast & Furious spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw arrives in theatres, here’s a brief timeline of the infamous feud between stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Vin Diesel.
The seeds for this week’s new release, Hobbs & Shaw, were sown during the making of Fast & Furious 8, when there was an apparent disturbance on the sets of the film. Star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson took to Instagram to publicly disgrace ‘a male co-star’ whom he described as a ‘candy-a$$’. It was later revealed that the candy-a$$ in question was none other than franchise producer and lead, Vin Diesel.
The feud had a massive fallout, both with regard to the film, and the future of the franchise, which at that time was experiencing its heyday. The Rock and Diesel barely shared screen space in Fast & Furious 8, and it was reported shortly after the release of the film that future instalments of the franchise, which had already been dated, were going to be pushed back in favour of a spin-off film. This one.
This didn’t go down too well with Diesel, (and Tyrese Gibson, who’d decided to side with him in the divorce). But with Hobbs & Shaw a day from release, and the ninth Fast & Furious film in production (without The Rock), it seems like the wheels of this franchise are finally spinning.
Here is a brief timeline of the feud
In August, 2016, The Rock writes on Instagram that he had a fundamental disagreement with a male co-star. “Some [male co-stars] conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t. The ones that don’t are too chicken shit to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses,” he wrote. “When you watch this movie next April and it seems like I’m not acting in some of these scenes and my blood is legit boiling—you’re right’
A day later, TMZ reports that Diesel was the unnamed man at the centre of the disagreement, and that there had been meetings on both sides about the matter.
The next day, The Rock in a now deleted Instagram post seems to suggest that everything was in the past. “Family is gonna have differences of opinion and fundamental core beliefs,” the actor wrote. “To me, conflict can be a good thing, when it’s followed by great resolution. I was raised on healthy conflict and welcome it. And like any family, we get better from it.”
Filming ends, and Diesel makes a vague comment in an Instagram video about coming clean. “So give me a second and I will tell you everything. Everything,” he said, while the Rock wrote a long thank you note and mentioned everyone but Diesel by name.
In September, 2016, cast member Michelle Rodriguez confirms the feud and says during a press event, “Any human being who knows what men are like knows to stay out [of those] situations and let them figure it out.”
In November, The Rock tells The Los Angeles Times, “I was very clear with what I said. I’ve been in the game a long time.”
In April, 2017, the press for Fast & Furious 8 starts and Diesel says, “I don’t think the world really realizes how close we are, in a weird way. I think some things may be blown out of proportion. I don’t think that was his intention. I know he appreciates how much I work this franchise. In my house, he’s Uncle Dwayne. . . . It’s not always easy being an alpha. And it’s two alphas. Being an alpha is sometimes a pain in the (butt).”
On the film’s red carpet, Diesel says, “We still love each other, that’s my boy. 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.”
In May, Diesel wishes The Rock a happy birthday, and writes, “To look back at what we have accomplished. Shoulder to shoulder, against impossible odds. Proud... Happy Birthday Hobbs...”
In October, it is announced that Fast & Furious 9 will be delayed by a year. Tyrese rants on Instagram against The Rock, accusing him of hijacking the franchise. “Congratulations to @TheRock and your brother in law aka 7 bucks producing partner @hhgarcia41 for making the fast and the furious franchise about YOU - And like you, DJ even if they call I will not be deleting this post - Gn folks see you in 2020 April,” he wrote.
Meanwhile Diesel comments on the speculation around the delay. “I know there has been a lot of speculation as to why the Fast 9 release date was pushed... but it would be unfair to say it is anyone’s fault. As we plot the course to expand the Fast & Furious universe, one must be mindful to take stock of the roads we took to get here.”
Hobbs & Shaw is directed by David Leitch and co-stars Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby and Idris Elba. The film arrives in theatres on Friday, August 2.
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