‘I didn’t like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker’s death’
In an interview with CNN published on Wednesday (29 December), Johnson revealed that he was “very surprised by Vin’s recent post”.
“This past June, when Vin and I actually connected not over social media, I told him directly – and privately – that I would not be returning to the franchise,” the Jumanji actor revealed.
“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,” he said.
Johnson said his co-star’s public post was “an example of his manipulation”.
“I didn’t like that [Diesel] brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker’s death. Leave them out of it,” he continued. “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,” Johnson added.
Diesel, who plays the role of Dominic Toretto, urged Johnson (Luke Hobbs) last month to return to the Fast & Furious franchise for the final two films.
“My little brother Dwayne… the time has come. 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,” Diesel wrote on Instagram, adding a photo of their characters Dom and Luke.
“Legacy awaits. I told you years ago that I was going to fulfil my promise to Pablo,” he further said in the post.
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Pablo was a nickname Diesel had for his friend and former co-star Paul Walker, who played Brian O’Connor in the film series. Walker died in a car accident, aged 40, in 2013.
Johnson joined the franchise for the fifth Fast & Furious film in 2011 before departing for his own spin-off movie, Hobbs and Shaw, alongside Jason Statham.
In 2016, the actor made his behind-the-scenes feud with Diesel public via a social media post.
The post was aimed at an unnamed male co-star who Johnson later revealed was Diesel.
“Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t. The ones that don’t are too chicken s*** to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses. 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,” Johnson wrote at the time.
Johnson later said expressing his views publicly “was not the right thing to do”.
He added that the pair had met in an attempt to settle their differences.
The ninth Fast & Furious film was released earlier this year following multiple delays caused by the pandemic.