How One Fan Helped Get Dwayne Johnson Cast in 'Fast and Furious' Instead of Tommy Lee Jones

How One Fan Helped Get Dwayne Johnson Cast in 'Fast and Furious' Instead of Tommy Lee Jones

Aug 24, 2016

Fast Five

When Dwayne Johnson made his first appearance as a supporting character in the Fast and Furious series back in 2011 (above), it was a pleasant surprise. By that point, Johnson had been starring in action vehicles like The Rundown, Walking Tall and Doom for years, and tended to supplement his star turns with supporting roles in comedies like Get Smart and The Other Guys.

Johnson made a definite impression in Fast Five as Hobbs, a role in which he represented law and order as a member of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service, charged with capturing Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker). He ends up helping them instead. Hobbs returned in Fast & Furious 6 and Furious 7 and reportedly plays a key role in the upcoming Fast 8.

Originally, however, another actor was envisioned to portray the tough and menacing Hobbs. In a conversation directed to his fan community, via Collider, Vin Diesel said: "Back in the fifth film, when I was asking ‘Who should I work with?,’ the reason why we brought Dwayne Johnson into Fast Five was because of you. There was a girl named Jen Kelly who said, ‘I would love to see you guys work together on-screen.’ And so, we gave a role that was initially written for Tommy Lee Jones but we gave it to Dwayne, and he shined in it.”


As it happens, Diesel revealed this tidbit during a set visit for the movie and said that yet another actor was also in the mix: "The role was initially written for a Tommy Lee Jones/Josh Brolin and with, I guess, the physicality that fans would expect from Dom - I mean, Dom's a mechanic who races cars. He's not an athlete like xXx. He's not a sci-fi/intergalactic killer like Riddick. He's like the most normal guy I got, really. But at the same time, the studio was wanting to find somebody who would be formidable enough to, I guess, increase the legend of Dom.

"We've always wanted to do something together, [and] there was a woman who left a comment on my Facebook page about six months ago… and she said, 'I'd love to see you guys do a movie and I really think it would be dynamic.' I read this comment from one of the fans on the Facebook page, and next thing you know, we got my buddy in this movie. It's been pretty special."

Diesel also says that Jason Statham is "pretty amazing" in Fast 8. The cast includes Charlize Theron, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Scott Eastwood and Nathalie Emmanuel. The movie will open in theaters on April 14, 2017.

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