In what still might be the most convincing series of pro-wrestling promos in Hollywood history, former WWE World Champion and star of something called Red Notice, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is continuing his feud with Vin “Federico Fellini” Diesel. For roughly the last five years, the pair have engaged in what we at The A.V. Club refer to as “#candyassgate” because The Rock once called Vin a “candyass.”
With the final two Fast And Furious movies zipping ahead on an endless zipline used by John Cena to whisk across Edinburgh rooftops, Diesel would like to get the family back together for one last ride. But, unfortunately, he’s dealing with one of our generation’s great heels, who’s going to milk his return for all it’s worth—unless, of course, he’s being honest and will sit out the Fast finale.
Speaking to CNN, Johnson explained all the different ways he told Diesel he wouldn’t be returning (“directly — and privately.”)
“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. “I privately spoke with my partners at Universal as well, all of whom were very supportive as they understand the problem.”
For his part, Diesel offered fans of family-centric automotive heist films a glimmer of hope, offering an olive branch to his “little brother Dwayne” on Instagram in which he evoked the prophecy which predicted that The Rock “rise to the occasion and fulfill [his] destiny.” Diesel also mentioned that his family missed him and that he promised the late-Paul Walker that Dom and Hobbs “would reach and manifest the best Fast in the finale that is 10!” Recognizing the gravity of the situation, he even started the post “the time has come,” what more could you want?
Well, Uncle Dwayne found the whole thing a little gross, calling it “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,” he said. “We had spoken months ago about this and came to a clear understanding. My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible Fast & Furious franchise with gratitude and grace. 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, and I truly wish my former co-stars and crew members the best of luck and success in the next chapter.”
Johnson might be out of the mainline Fast Saga movies, but he’s still open for all things “Fast And Furious Presents.” In November, he mentioned that he has a great pitch for a Hobbs & Shaw sequel, which is both better than nothing and not exactly what anyone wants. Nevertheless, he imagines it as the “antithesis of what Fast And Furious movies generally are,” which sounds like something.
Either way, we haven’t abandoned hope that this is all hype for the movie and that the stars’ kayfabe reality will lead to a glorious face-off and end with a handshake. If all those [redacted] can get away with lying for a year, then surely the Rock has no problem doing it.