Somewhere past the Sunset Strip, a horde of lawyers are furiously negotiating on behalf of their high-profile “diva” clients. The demands are high: specific lighting, carefully counted lines and scenes, and even producers on stand-by whose sole job is to pamper and grease the squabbling stars. Typical men!
According to a new report in the Wall Street Journal, the many buff baldies who populate the extended Fast & Furious universe have developed an on-set ecosystem designed to ensure they stay looking virile and sweaty. The patriarch of the franchise, Vin Diesel, allegedly hires his sister to count the times his body connects with his enemies, per WSJ. Each brush of their skin is assigned a numerical value that is tallied and adjusted.
Jason Statham reportedly has a legally binding contract stipulating how many beatdowns he can take. The Rock, meanwhile, demanded that he not be filmed on his back for Fate of the Furious lest the people of America view him as fragile. (Since he once described Vin Diesel as a “candy ass,” I’m thinking he might have been projecting!)
A climate of strife has plagued the Car Movie franchise for years. Reports of on-set disagreements first surfaced in 2016, when Johnson referred to “some” co-stars as “chicken shits.” Things were later patched up, and press for the movie shifted focus to Johnson and Diesel’s “brotherhood,” with the latter claiming Johnson is known as “Uncle Dwayne” amongst his kids. Shortly after Hobbs & Shaw was announced in September 2017, Tyrese accused Johnson of “making the Fast and Furious franchise about you!”
“If you move forward with that #Hobbs Movie you will have purposely ignored the heart to heart moment we had in my sprinter...I’m on your timeline cause you’re not responding to my text messages – #FastFamily is just that a family…….. We don’t fly solo.”
The sprinter at the heart of this story was never found.
Interestingly, The Hollywood Reporter did an interview with Chris Morgan—a writer on the franchise—ahead of WSJ’s report. In it, the mind behind Hobbs & Shaw spoke about the relationship between Diesel and Johnson:
“I don’t think there’s a feud per se. I know there’s a lot of reports and stories and stuff like that, but they’re both nice, mature guys, and they’re also businessmen. I don’t think it has a major effect on the Fast franchise. The characters will continue to weave in and out.”
Whatever you say, Chris! While there are many unanswered questions in the wake of the allegations against the many meatheads in orbit around the Car Movie Universe, I have to ask: How has a crew member not slipped and seriously injured themselves on all that muscle grease?