‘Fast & Furious’ Star Says “Anti-Woke” Dwayne Johnson Needs To Quit

in Movies

Dwayne Johnson in sunglasses at Wrestlemania XL

Credit: WWE

Dwayne Johnson has ruffled a lot of feathers recently by coming out against “woke culture” and regretting ever taking an actual stance on anything. But the once-and-former Rock’s anti-woke feelings are still minor compared to his longstanding beef with his Fast & Furious co-star Vin Diesel. Now, another one of the mainstays of the Fast & Furious franchise has had enough and thinks he should quit.

The Cast of Fast X
Credit: Universal

For years, Dwayne Johnson was one of Hollywood’s most dependable stars. At one point, he memorably referred to himself (via Saturday Night Live monologue) as “franchise Viagra,” able to revive any failing action series with his unique combination of physical presence, swagger, and occasional goofiness. The most famous example of that effect is undoubtedly the Fast & Furious franchise, which he joined in Fast Five (2011) as Diplomatic Security Service Agent Luke Hobbs.

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Since then, Dwayne Johnson has reprised the role of Luke Hobbs in Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), The Fate of the Furious (2017), Fast X (2023), and starred alongside Jason Statham in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019).

Dwyane Johnson, Vin Diesel Will Be Back for More ‘Fast and Furious Movies

However, the on-screen rivalry between Luke Hobbs and Dominic Toretto (series linchpin Vin Diesel) apparently spilled over into a battle of egos between the two stars, leading Dwayne Johnson to apparently depart the Universal Pictures franchise for a time. Johnson seems to be returning for the upcoming eleventh movie in the series, but it is very unclear whether he and Diesel have actually been able to settle any beef in the meantime.

Fellow Fast & Furious star John Cena had some thoughts about the rift between Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel in a recent appearance on Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. The Peacemaker actor tactfully acknowledged the tension between the two superstars and seemed to imply that at least one of them needs to quit the series, saying, “There’s certainly rumors about that. I can’t deny that. You have two very alpha, driven people…You get two. There can only be one.”

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and John Cena on WWE
Credit: WWE

That does not exactly square up with the operating method of Fast & Furious, which has added more and more characters to every installment, often bringing in actors like John Cena, Charlize Theron, and, yes, Dwayne Johnson as antagonists, only to turn them into allies. It seems that the rivalry between two “alphas” like Vin Diesel and Johnson can only end in the newcomer quitting, however.

Cena compared joining the franchise to his professional wrestling career, saying, “Man, you gotta remember I got dropped into a locker room where [we have] generational vets…I’ve been in that environment; know the room and just kind of adapt to what’s going on. I’m being invited into someone’s home, into someone’s family. And regardless of how they look physically in comparison to another human being, this is one IP that has had nine installments and it’s an action movie — that’s rarefied air. At the very least, there has to be respect for that.”

It is not difficult to read between the lines that John Cena does not want to create the same conflict between himself and Vin Diesel that Dwayne Johnson did when he joined the franchise. One can also infer that it’s very possible that Johnson might have pushed things a bit, and very likely, that’s why he quit.

James Gunn, John Cena as Peacemaker, and Margot Robie on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Credit: Jimmy Kimmel Live

Dwayne Johnson has been further antagonizing some audiences, both in a heel turn at Wrestlemania XL and by positioning himself as an anti-woke crusader against cancel culture. He recently told Fox News, “Today’s cancel culture, woke culture, division, etc — that really bugs me. In the spirit of that, you either succumb to that and be what other people want you to be, or you be yourself and be real … and that might make people upset and p*** people off, and that’s okay.”

Related: ‘Fast & Furious’ Star Thought His Looks Would Land Him a Marvel Role

On the other hand, he also said that he hated that he caused “division” by endorsing President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, saying:

“The endorsement that I made years ago with Biden was one I thought was the best decision for me at that time. I thought, ‘I’m in this position where I have some influence and I felt it was my job then to exercise my influence [and] share: This is who I’m going to endorse.’ I’m not going to do that. I was then, the most followed man in the world, and am today, and I appreciate that… but what that caused was something that tears me up in my guts — which is division. That got me. I didn’t realize that then, I just felt like there was a lot of unrest and I’d like things to calm down.”

So, apparently, sometimes you need to be yourself and “be real,” even if that upsets people and other times, you need to not cause “division” between people by stating your beliefs. Which is it, Rock?

Do you think Dwayne Johnson should quit the Fast & Furious franchise for good? Tell us in the comments below!

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