Tyrese Gibson Threatens to Quit 'Fast & Furious' Franchise if Dwayne Johnson Doesn't
Trouble in the Family.
There's been some tension in the Family of late. One of the appeals to the Fast & Furious franchise is that they've maintained the same core cast over most of the eight films thus far. The diverse ensemble is always portrayed as a tight-knit family, but now a feud between castmates Tyrese Gibson and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is bubbling over into an ugly public spectacle that could have lasting ramifications on the future of the long-running series. This week, Gibson posted a lengthy rant on Instagram threatening to quit the next installment if Johnson doesn't first.
Drawing on this surprisingly exhaustive rundown in The Federalist of all places, the trouble seems to have erupted at the beginning of October. Universal Studios announced it would be pushing back the release of the franchise's ninth movie to 2020, while also unveiling plans for a new spinoff film in 2019 starring both The Rock's and Jason Statham's characters. Fans rejoiced—more Fast & Furious fun—but Gibson, who started playing Roman Pearce in 2 Fast 2 Furious and appeared in the last four films, called out his co-star on social media for "purposefully ignoring" him and putting his own career ahead of the good of the Family.
As the week dragged on, Gibson posted more rants on Instagram, accusing Johnson of "breaking up the family" and "[having] a problem cause he wasn't the ONLY ONE on the movie poster." After Johnson posted an...intense work-out video with the caption "Big dogs eat," star Vin Diesel weighed in on Instagram with his own post basically calling for a truce. Gibson reposted the picture, then gave an interview to TMZ where he claimed he wasn't "hating" and admitted he just thought The Rock was being "selfish" by prioritizing his own movie over the franchise. So, disaster averted?
Not quite. On Wednesday, Gibson posted another picture of himself, Diesel, and Johnson, this time saying that he'll quit if Johnson appears in the ninth Fast & Furious movie. He also seems to accuse Johnson of using steroids, implies he's not really part of the Family, and refers to him as a "clown." In case the post is deleted, the text of the rant is copied below.
"Hello world.......... hello loyal fans and loved ones from OUR fast universe........ I’m sorry to announce that if Dewayne is in Fast9 there will no more Roman Peirce - You mess with family and my daughters survival I mess with yours......... close your eyes dude you’re a “Clown”...... #CandyAssBitchMade All my real one.... Men on integrity... my real ones out here stand UP...... folks that GP to the gym and get big naturally #NoJuice #NoOJ spin off huh? Spin off these nuts selfish champ...... pause notice who’s got his arms around my shoulder and who’s standing alone -#OurChildrenMatter"
Gibson also posted a picture of himself and Paul Walker with The Rock mostly cropped out of the frame. The Rock has yet to respond, but something tells us he's not likely to quit the most lucrative franchise in history over this. And while losing a cast member in a highly public feud certainly damages the whole "Family" narrative, a franchise that survived the actual death of its star would unquestionably go on without Gibson and Roman Pearce.
It's also worth pointing out that Gibson is in the midst of a highly charged custody battle involving allegations he abused his young daughter Shayla, and threatening to throw out a winning lottery ticket isn't exactly a sound move when you've got bills to pay. In fact, he alluded to the fact that he's almost "broke" from paying legal fees in another Instagram post yesterday. Perhaps realizing this, today Gibson posted yet another picture of himself with Johnson and Diesel saying that he had a talk with one of Johnson's "associates" and that while his story hasn't changed, it will be his "last" post on the matter for good. He added that he's looking forward to working with director Justin Lin again.
"Want you guys to know I️ had a real Heart to Heart with one of Dewayne’s associates and this will be my last post about him........ I️ repeat my last.... I️ respect the associate who called.. My story will never change I️ was never DJ’s Co-Star... I’m Shayla’s Father first.... Justin Lin is back in the driver seat that’s exciting cause it going to feel like the true #FastFamily all over again..... When we see Justin we see Paul....."
We'll update this if The Rock weighs in again, or if Gibson really does quit the next movie. Gibson isn't the first cast member to float the possibility of walking out to send a message—Michelle Rodriguez previously called out the way the franchise objectifies female characters and demanded a change in the next installment. With all this drama, maybe they're a real family after all.