The theme of the Fast and Furious franchise these past few days has been #drama. It all started with the news that Fast and Furious 9 was being pushed back a year, followed shortly by the news that the Dwayne Johnson/Jason Statham spinoff was taking over its 2019 release date and would be hitting theaters first. This seemed like a smart move on Universal’s part—continuing to expand this $1 billion franchise—but Fast and Furious family member Tyrese Gibson was none too pleased, taking to Instagram to candidly pin the blame for the Fast 9 move on Johnson, accusing the actor of hogging the spotlight. Then in another post, Gibson went so far as to claim that he and others were offered a spinoff years ago and turned it down to keep the family together.
Johnson, for his part, kept things positive, taking to Twitter to indirectly address the issue:
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) October 6, 2017
And now Vin Diesel, producer and shepherd of the franchise, has spoken up. You’ll recall that rumors swirled of an intense feud between Diesel and Johnson during the making of Fate of the Furious, but in an Instagram post Diesel remained incredibly civil, revealing that he’s taking some time to do “maintenance” on the Fast and Furious franchise while also mentioning that Johnson joined the franchise in the first place because Diesel sparked to a fan request:
Brotherhood… and all it’s complexities. This scene was filmed in Puerto Rico, I can remember it like it was yesterday. Such a beautiful island, the people were so warm and welcoming. I turned 43 that summer… and my son Vincent was born. A woman named Jan Kelly responded to a question I had asked on Facebook, ‘who they would like to see me work with?’ She said would love to see me work with Dwayne… I listened to her request and he became Hobbs. I know there has been a lot of speculation as to why the Fast 9 release date was pushed… but it would be unfair to say it is anyone’s fault. As we plot the course to expand the Fast & Furious universe, one must be mindful to take stock of the roads we took to get here. The pillars of authenticity, family and most importantly, our loyal fan’s perspective has been instrumental in procuring success. However, like any vehicle that has run around the globe 8 times, the franchise is in need of maintenance. My good friend and the godfather of Universal, Ron Meyer has granted me the time to do just that. We have some very exciting news to share soon… stay tuned. Yours truly, Dom #FamilyAlways
Diesel also posted a video on Facebook from a private jet with Ludacris, and while he doesn’t specifically address the Fast and Furious feud, he asks fans to “keep it positive” out there.