Diesel Johnson-1636353163505
Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Vin Diesel has extended an olive branch to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, asking him to return to the ‘Fast and Furious’ family for the finale of the monster franchise to fulfil a promise made to the late Paul Walker who died in 2013 midway through filming ‘Furious 7’.

Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson
Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson Image Credit: Supplied

Diesel and Johnson famously fell out during the filming of ‘The Fate of the Furious’ and have never worked together again since the incident. Johnson, meanwhile, took the character of Luke Hobbs and branched out on his own through the ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ spin-off with the help of fellow co-star Jason Statham.

Now, as the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise is approaching an end after two more films, Diesel has sent out an open invitation to Johnson to return to the fold for a grand send-off.

“My little brother Dwayne … the time has come,” Diesel wrote to the wrestler turned actor on Instagram. “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. Legacy awaits.”

Diesel continued: “I told you years ago that I was going to fulfill my promise to Pablo [Paul Walker]. I swore that we would reach and manifest the best Fast in the finale that is 10! I say this out of love … but you must show up, do not leave the franchise idle you have a very important role to play. Hobbs can’t be played by no other. I hope that you rise to the occasion and fulfill your destiny.”

The riff between the two stars was put into the spotlight in 2016 when Johnson, while shooting ‘The Fate of the Furious’, took to Instagram to both express appreciation for his female co-stars and embarrass some of his male counterparts for unprofessional behaviour, calling them “candy [expletive].” It’s alleged he was referring to Diesel.

In June this year, Diesel addressed his feud with Johnson in an interview with Men’s Health, calling it a case of “tough love”.

Dwayne Johnson in 'Hobbs & Shaw' Image Credit: Universal Pictures

“It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character,” he said in the interview. “My approach at the time was a lot of tough love to assist in getting that performance where it needed to be. As a producer to say, ‘Okay, we’re going to take Dwayne Johnson, who’s associated with wrestling, and we’re going to force this cinematic world, audience members, to regard his character as someone that they don’t know …. That took a lot of work. We had to get there and sometimes, at that time, I could give a lot of tough love.”

A month later, Johnson reacted to the comment with … laughter. “I laughed and I laughed hard,” he said told Hollywood Reporter. “I think everyone had a laugh at that. And I’ll leave it at that. And that I’ve wished them well. I wish them well on ‘Fast 9’. And I wish them the best of luck on ‘Fast 10’ and ‘Fast 11’ and the rest of the ‘Fast & Furious’ movies they do that will be without me.”

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in Fast Five (2011)-1564466846587
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in 'Fast Five' Image Credit: Unviersal Pictures

Johnson has yet to respond to Diesel publicly following the latest Instagram post.

Director Justin Lin also addressed the possibility of Hobbs and Statham’s Deckard Shaw returning for the final two films in conversation with Deadline in April.

“I never really considered them gone, you know? To me, they’re still in this universe; they’re part of this family,” he said. “Whatever we do, whenever we’re talking about the next chapter, I never feel like I have any restrictions, so I’m excited for what we build, and as we’re coming to this kind of final chapter of this saga, I think I’m excited to revisit … Any character, in any situation, is up for discussion.”