Vin Diesel Uses Memory of Paul Walker to Try and Heal Dwayne Johnson Feud

Vin Diesel has urged Dwayne Johnson to return to the Fast & Furious fold, years after he walked away from the franchise amid a feud with his co-stars.

The actors—who first starred alongside one another in the 2011 movie Fast Five—publicly fell out back in 2016 while working on The Fate of the Furious, with Johnson questioning Diesel's professionalism in an Instagram post.

Johnson later quit the franchise after The Fate of the Furious, starring instead in his own 2019 spinoff, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, opposite Jason Statham.

But after trading a number of barbs with Johnson, Diesel has asked him to return to the fold in honor of their late co-star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash unrelated to the hit films in November 2013, midway through production on Fast & Furious 7.

Sharing a post of himself and Johnson in character in the movie series, Diesel wrote: "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. Legacy awaits."

He then went on to discuss the vow that he had made to Walker, whom his close friends had affectionately referred to as Pablo.

"I told you years ago that I was going to fulfill my promise to Pablo," Diesel wrote. "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."

Newsweek has contacted a representative of Diesel for comment.

Back in 2016, Johnson fanned the feud flames, when he said in an Instagram post: "There's no other franchise that gets my blood boiling more than this one. An incredible hard working crew. Universal has been great partners as well. My female co-stars are always amazing and I love 'em."

Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson
Vin Diesel (L) has urged Dwayne Johnson (R) to return to the "Fast & Furious" franchise after feuding with his co-star for several years. Amanda Edwards/WireImage;/Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

"My male co-stars however are a different story," he went on. "Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don't.

" The ones that don't are too chicken s*** to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses. When you watch this movie next April and it seems like I'm not acting in some of these scenes and my blood is legit boiling—you're right."

More recently, Diesel said in a June interview with Men's Health that words he exchanged with Johnson came from a place of "tough love."

"It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character," said Diesel. "My approach at the time was a lot of tough love to assist in getting that performance where it needed to be."

He went on: "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—Hobbs hits you like a ton of bricks. That's something that I'm proud of, that aesthetic.

"That took a lot of work. We had to get there and sometimes, at that time, 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."

Responding to Diesel's words in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson said in July: "I laughed and I laughed hard. 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."

The ninth Fast & Furious film was released in in June 2021, following multiple delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It grossed more than $700 million worldwide.

Late actor Paul Walker
Paul Walker attends the World Premiere of "Fast & Furious 6" at Empire Leicester Square on May 7, 2013 in London, England. The actor died in a car crash in November 2013. Dave M. Benett/WireImage