Last August, while Universal’s massive blockbuster sequel The Fate of the Furious was in its final week of production, the normally-gregarious Dwayne Johnson raised some eyebrows and made headlines with a scathing social media post, calling some of his male co-stars “candy-asses.” He added that during some scenes where it might look like he’s legitimately angry, his blood is “literally boiling,” and he’s not actually acting in those scenes. While Dwayne Johnson never named any specific names, it has long been established that the target of Dwayne Johnson’s ire is Vin Diesel, who has been known to be quite difficult on set. After the incident had boiled over, a studio source said that there wasn’t expected to be any “lingering effects” when it came time to promote the movie, but today we have a new report that both stars are being kept separated during the sequel’s press tour, leading up to the April 14 release date.
The Hollywood Reporter points out that Universal Pictures held its CinemaCon presentiation today, which included The Fate of the Furious, with stars such as Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Kurt Russell, Charlize Theron and director F. Gary Gray also in attendance for the panel. Notably absent was Dwayne Johnson, although the actor spent the past two days at the Las Vegas convention, promoting his Jumanji remake for Sony Pictures on Monday and also showing up on Tuesday as part of Paramount’s Baywatch presentation. Today, Dwayne Johnson was already back in Miami, shooting the third season of his HBO series Ballers. Here’s what one insider had to say below.
“They’re keeping them separated as much as possible.”
Universal reportedly tried to downplay any tensions between the two actors, claiming that they have both simply been on different continents during the run-up to this sequel. Both actors were seen present during the Fast 8 trailer launch in New York back in December, but if this report is true, don’t expect to see them together throughout the press tour over the next few weeks. Though they are both contractually obligated to show up to the NYC premiere. Still, this tension between the stars isn’t expected to have any effect on the box office, especially after the reactions started coming in from the surprise screening today at CinemaCon.
The studio surprised attendees by revealing that most of their three-hour panel will be used to show the entire film. Early reactions to the action sequel claim it will be a “gigantic hit,” which isn’t terribly surprising, considering the last installment, 2015’s Furious 7, took home a whopping $1.5 million. This sequel will mark the beginning of the end, as the first installment of the franchise’s final trilogy. The studio will close out this lucrative franchise with Fast & Furious 9 on April 19, 2019 and Fast & Furious 10 on April 2, 2021. If this beef between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson is still lingering by the time production starts on Fast & Furious 9, we could be in for a bumpy ride as this franchise nears the finish line.
Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game-and the rest of the crew has been exonerated-the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Oscar winner Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, our elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world’s stage…and to bring home the man who made them a family. Vin Diesel is joined by a returning all-star cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky and Kurt Russell. In addition to Theron, The Fate of the Furious welcomes newcomers Scott Eastwood and Oscar winner Helen Mirren. The film is directed by F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) and produced by returning producers Neal H. Moritz, Michael Fottrell and Diesel.