Vin Diesel is here to try and smooth things over as more Fast & Furious drama rages on.
This week, Universal Pictures announced the ninth film would be released a year later than expected, in 2020. A day later, the studio revealed that a standalone spinoff movie starring cast members Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham would hit theaters in 2019. This angered franchise co-star Tyrese Gibson, who pinned the blame of delaying the sequel on Dwayne.
Vin posted on his Instagram page Friday a throwback pic of him and Dwayne from Furious 6, writing, "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," Vin continued. "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," he said. "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."
Co-star Ludacris commented on the post with two muscle emojis.
He had tweeted on Friday, "My goal from day 1 was to come in and create an exciting/fun character for the fans, elevate the franchise and build it out. #HobbsShaw2019."
In September, Tyrese had told The Rock on Instagram, "#FastFamily is just that a family...we don't fly solo."
He then clarified his comments, saying, "I want you to shoot it just not right now cause the #Fast9 release date has already been announced and we can't let our loyal fans #FastFamily or our loyal Fast and Furious FANS down on any level from pushing the date...we do this on behalf of the families, the cast, the crew member who have been down and loyal to us for 15 years...everyone matters."
After the release dates of both films were announced, Tyrese wrote on Instagram, "Congratulations to @TheRock and your brother in law aka 7 bucks producing partner @hhgarcia41 for making the fast and the furious franchise about YOU...Gn folks see you in 2020 April #FastFamily right? Nah...it's about #TeamDewayne #3yrs will it be worth the wait? #NoShaw just Hobbs will this be another #BayWatch? Guys guys just relax I'm just a passionate film critic."
The Rock has not responded publicly to Tyrese.
Dwayne had spurred controversy in 2016 when he said some of his "male co-workers" on Fast 8 do not "conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals" and "are too chicken s--t to do anything about it anyway," adding, "Candy asses."
He did not name names in his rant. Vin, who fans speculated was one of the people he was talking about, soon sung the actor's praises on Facebook, talking about how a fan suggested the actors work together on a project, how Tommy Lee Jones was originally supposed to play Hobbs and how Dwayne "shined" in the role.
Earlier this year, at the premiere of the eighth film, The Fate of the Furious, Dwayne told E! News that he and Vin had a "good chat."
"I think everything's fine," he said. "We had a good chat long ago and everything is the way it should be."
"But you know, look, in life, it happens where you have fundamental differences and philosophies from other people and I believe in doing things a certain way, he believes in doing things another way and that's just the way it is," he continued. "But yeah, we had a good chat."
Another longtime cast member, Michelle Rodriguez, was also involved in some Fast & Furious drama earlier this year. She had said on social media she hopes "they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise" in the upcoming ninth film, "Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise."
Days later, Vin posted on his Instagram page a video of the two, which shows her embracing him and praising him for his support of "strong women."
"And I've always appreciated that about you throughout the years," she tells him in the clip. "And just know if I ever post anything, that's not you I'm talking to."