Remember when The Rock was throwing Insta-shade at an “unnamed castmate” while making F8 of the Furious, and it turned out to be about Vin Diesel? Well, F8 had its CinemaCon presentation yesterday, and guess who wasn’t part of it?
Dwayne Johnson (even though he was on hand to promote Jumanji and Baywatch).
The official excuse is that The Rock had to get back to the set of Ballers—aka Sports Entourage—but The Hollywood Reporter cites sources that say the Johnson/Diesel hostilities are not over. They’re so not over, in fact, that the press tour is designed to keep them apart, including not having Johnson participate in the CinemaCon presentation, even though it wouldn’t have been that hard to accommodate his schedule so the main cast could be together for the presentation. Boy sh*t!
That presentation included the world premiere screening of the movie, and people reacted pretty much as you expect to a Fast/Furious movie—it’s ridiculous but fun, and apparently Jason Statham has a stand-out moment. (Will he be next on Diesel’s list?) What interested me most, though, was a comment from Steven Weintraub of Collider:
not sure I saw even one shot in Fate of the Furious with @TheRock & Vin Diesel together. Take that how you will.— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) March 29, 2017
One of the tidbits in TMZ’s initial report of the on-set beef was that things were so tense between Johnson and Diesel that they could hardly shoot their scenes. So is the apparent lack of cooperative filming purely due to story? Or is it that the story is engineered a certain way because Diesel is using his producer power to sideline Johnson? (The Rock did spend most of the last movie stuck in a hospital room away from the action.) Vin Diesel is the face of this franchise, especially now that he is also the Keeper of Paul Walker’s Flame. Is it that hard to believe he would throw his weight around to maintain his position as the king of the hill?