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Dwayne Johnson Rejects to Rejoin Fast and Furious, Says Vin Diesel’s Request to Come Back Is “Manipulative”

courtesy via koimoi

In a new interview with CNN released Wednesday, Dwayne Johnson addressed Vin Diesel’s November Instagram post in which he requested The Rock to return to the Fast & Furious franchise.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is open about his love for Vin Diesel, his Fast & Furious co-star.

Johnson, 49, addressed an Instagram post made by Diesel in November, in which the 54-year-old actor publicly requested Johnson to return to the beloved film franchise, calling Diesel’s gesture “an example of his manipulation” in an interview with CNN published Wednesday.

“I was very surprised by Vin’s recent post,” said Johnson. “This past June, when Vin and I actually connected not over social media, I told him directly — and privately — that I would not be returning to the franchise.

I was firm yet cordial with my words and said that I would always be supportive of the cast and always root for the franchise to be successful, but that there was no chance I would return. I privately spoke with my partners at Universal as well, all of whom were very supportive as they understand the problem.”

“I didn’t like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker’s death. Leave them out of it,” Johnson continued. “We had spoken months ago about this and came to a clear understanding. My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible Fast & Furious franchise with gratitude and grace.”

“It’s unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters. Regardless, I’m confident in the Fast universe and its ability to consistently deliver for the audience, and I truly wish my former costars and crew members the best of luck and success in the next chapter,” Johnson added.

In the Instagram post that the Jungle Cruise star is referring to, Diesel wrote in part, “My little brother Dwayne… the time has come. 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.”

Diesel’s representative has not commented to PEOPLE.

Johnson and Diesel’s animosity initially surfaced in 2016 while they were filming The Fate of the Furious, the eighth episode of the long-running franchise.
At the time, a source connected to the production told PEOPLE, “Tension has been building up for months.”

At the time, Johnson also wrote a since-deleted Instagram post criticizing his nameless male co-stars.

“There’s no other franchise that gets my blood boiling more than this one. My female costars are always amazing and I love ’em. My male costars, however, are a different story,” he wrote, adding, “Some conduct themselves as stand-up men and true professionals, while others don’t.”

Diesel said in a July interview with Men’s Health that he used “tough love” on set when it came to Johnson portraying his Fast & Furious character, federal agent Luke Hobbs.

“I could give a lot of tough love. Not Felliniesque, but I would do anything I’d have to do in order to get performances in anything I’m producing,” he told the magazine.

Speaking with Vanity Fair for the magazine’s November cover, Johnson touched on Diesel’s “tough love” comments, telling the outlet, “One part of me feels like there’s no way I would dignify any of that bull—- with an answer.”

“I’ve been around the block a lot of times. Unlike [Diesel], I did not come from the world of theater,” he added. “And, you know, I came up differently and was raised differently.”

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