Fast X director Louis Leterrier opened up about securing the return of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, notwithstanding his bad blood with Vin Diesel.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the filmmaker weighed in on behind-the-scenes attempts to get the Jumanji star on board.
“The peace treaty … I kind of did. We all did. Ultimately, the movie did. I didn’t know Dwayne personally, but we reached out to Dwayne and Dwayne’s team. We sort of looked at each other from across the room and winked a few months back, saying, “We should work together.”
He added, “And then I had this idea, and I presented it to the producers and the studio. And then we reached out to Dwayne and his team and said, “Just come and watch the movie. You have to love the movie first.” So he came to see the movie and really loved it, and then we started talking.”
“It was very smooth, and frankly, as a fan, I could not conceive continuing the franchise without either Dwayne or Gal Gadot, Leterrier continued. “This franchise was built by actors and characters. The set pieces are wonderful. They keep you entertained and keep you shoving popcorn in your mouth, but the characters make this franchise what it is.”
Previously, The Rock called out franchise lead star Diesel “manipulative” for emotionally forcing him to rejoin the current film.
“I told [Diesel] directly 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,” the megastar said.
The 51-year-old added, “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. We had spoken months ago about this and came to a clear understanding.”