Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson accuses Vin Diesel of “manipulation” for going on social media to ask him to return to the “Fast and the Furious” franchise.
Johnson, who has previously said he would not return to the action-packed series as Luke Hobbs, told CNN in a new interview that he was “surprised” by Diesel’s post in November because they had already privately discussed Johnson’s permanent departure.
“Last June, when Vin and I were actually connected, not via social media, I told him directly – and privately – that I would not return to the franchise,” Johnson, 49, explained.
“I was firm yet heartfelt with my words and said I would always support the cast and always make sure the franchise was a success, but that there was no chance I would return.”
The actor, who has since gone on to star in the spinoff film “Hobbs & Shaw” with Jason Statham, criticized Diesel, 54, for emotionally using Diesel’s children and their late co-star Paul Walker’s death to lure Johnson back to the role of the last part, “Fixed 10.”
“Vin’s recent public post was an example of his manipulation. I did not like that he raised his children on the post as well as Paul Walker’s death,” Johnson explained. “Let them be out of it. We had talked about this months ago and reached a clear understanding. “
Despite Diesel’s “manipulation”, Johnson made it clear that he would not appear in the final chapter of the “Fast” franchise given the very public feuds involving Diesel and Tyrese Gibson that began during the final weeks of production for “Fate of the Furious” in 2016, when Johnson exclaimed his unnamed male co-stars in a now-deleted Facebook post.
“My goal all the time was to end my amazing journey with this incredible ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise with gratitude and grace. It is unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the water, ”Johnson said.
“Either way, I’m convinced of the ‘Fast’ universe and its ability to consistently deliver to the audience, and I really wish my former co-stars and crew members good luck and success in the next chapter.”
In the former “XXX” star’s post, Diesel “little brother” Johnson begged to return to the last film in a public attempt to bury the hatchet and fulfill his promise to Walker (who he called “Pablo” in the post) to quit series on high tone.
Diesel has not publicly responded to Johnson’s CNN interview.