If you are a fan of the Fast and the Furious films, then it is nearly impossible to think of the films without Vin Diesel. The action star became a household name after he starred alongside Paul Walker in the high-octane features. With seven movies now under its belt, the Fast and the Furious franchise will welcome its eighth installment this weekend. However, it looks like powers at be didn’t originally want Diesel anywhere near the film.
In a recent interview on The Bill Simmons Podcast, producer Neil H. Moritz talked about the first days of the Fast and the Furious series. It was there that executive said Universal Pictures wanted another rugged actor to take on the role of Dom.
“I had been working with Paul Walker on another movie, Skulls, and I gave him the script [for Fast and the Furious]. Rob Cohen, who I had made The Rat Pack with, we gave him the script. The two of them liked the idea. And then we had to look for Dom Toretto. The studio said, 'If you can get Timothy Olyphant to play that role, we will greenlight the movie.’”
“The luckiest thing that ever happened to us is Tim Olyphant turned us down. He's a great actor. In fact, I'm curious to see what that movie would have been.”
Of course, fans know that Olyphant passed over the role, and Diesel was the next best man to take on Dom. These days, the star has become synonymous with Fast and the Furious, so it’s good Universal Pictures took a chance when they did.
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Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game — and the rest of the crew has been exonerated — the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before.
From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, our elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world’s stage…and to bring home the man who made them a family.
For Fast and the Furious, Vin Diesel is joined by a returning all-star cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky and Kurt Russell. In addition to Theron, the series welcomes newcomers Scott Eastwood and Oscar winner Helen Mirren. The film is directed by F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) and produced by returning producers Neal H. Moritz, Michael Fottrell and Diesel.