Did you know Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson’s contracts say they can’t lose fights in Fast & Furious films?
Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Vin Diesel, three of the most high-profile stars of the Fast & Furious franchise - have it in their contracts that their characters can’t lose fights in the films. A 2019 Wall Street Journal story quoted several people involved in the films -- editors, producers, etc - who spoke about how the actors have measures in place to avoid coming across as ‘wimps’.
The report said that “according to producers and crew members on the films, Mr. Statham, 51 years old, negotiated an agreement with the studio that limits how badly he can be beaten up on the screen. Mr. Diesel, 52, has his younger sister, a producer on the films, police the number of punches he takes. And Mr. Johnson, 47, enlists producers, editors, and fight coordinators to help make sure he always gives as good as he gets.”
“It’s like that old trope where an actor comes in and wants more closeups,” an unnamed editor told the WSJ. “They want more muscles.” The report cited the example of a scene in Furious 7, where The Rock was supposed to lay on the ground before Diesel but had the scene rewritten so that he was sitting instead. Diesel is said to have developed a counting system which assigns a score to every hit - punches, kicks, headbutts - his character takes, as a way to keep a tab on who comes up on top.
Diesel and The Rock were engaged in a well-publicized feud, after on-set tensions forced Universal to branch off the franchise. While the main series was delayed, a spin-off featuring The Rock and Statham was fast-tracked.
The ninth Fast & Furious film will be released in 2021, after being delayed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Hobbs & Shaw was released last year.