Dwayne Johnson, star of the Fast & Furious franchise's first blockbuster spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, expressed gratitude to Fast producer and star Vin Diesel for supporting the offshoot before hinting at a reunion with Diesel's Dom Toretto in a return to the main series.
"I just want to say thank you guys so, so much. You have officially made Hobbs & Shaw not only a massive, global success — as we've just crossed $750 million dollars at the global box office — but also, you helped enable a build-out and an expansion of the Fast and Furious universe," Johnson said in a video published to Instagram Friday, where he thanked studio Universal and his cast and crew for "the relentless effort to push this thing uphill to make it a big hit."
"But also lastly, but not least," Johnson continued, "I want to thank brother Vin for your support of Hobbs & Shaw."
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Johnson reflected on his joining the franchise in Fast Five, then the franchise's highest-grossing entry and the first to speed past half a billion worldwide when it opened in 2011. The blockbuster ultimately crossed the finish line with $630 million.
"As you know, and what a wild ride this is, and what a wild ride this has been, ten years ago when you and I spoke and you invited me into the Fast & Furious family. I'm grateful for that invite, and as you know, my goal was always — all these years — to come into the Fast & Furious world and help elevate the franchise in any way that I possibly could," Johnson said. "If I could do that, then I've done my job. And now here we are ten years later, this massively successful build-out and expansion. We did it the right way, we did it the smart way, and again brother, I appreciate your support."
With a grin and a wink, Johnson added, "And of course, all roads lead to one thing... I'll be seeing you soon, Toretto."
In 2016, when filming eighth franchise entry The Fate of the Furious — Johnson's fourth — Johnson took to Instagram with a post calling an unidentified co-star a "candy ass."
"Some [male co-stars] conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don't. The ones that don't are too chicken sh-t to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses," Johnson wrote in the since-deleted post. "When you watch this movie next April and it seems like I'm not acting in some of these scenes and my blood is legit boiling — you're right."
Two days later, Johnson had cooled. "Family is gonna have differences of opinion and fundamental core beliefs," he wrote in a subsequent post. "To me, conflict can be a good thing, when it's followed by great resolution. I was raised on healthy conflict and welcome it. And like any family, we get better from it."
In 2018, Johnson opened up about the feud with Rolling Stone, where he confirmed the stars never shot together despite their characters being brought together early on in Fate.
"Vin and I had a few discussions, including an important face-to-face in my trailer. And what I came to realize is that we have a fundamental difference in philosophies on how we approach moviemaking and collaborating," Johnson said. "It took me some time, but I'm grateful for that clarity. Whether we work together again or not."
The star also made it clear he had no bad blood with Diesel.
"Right now I'm concentrating on making the spinoff as good as it can be," Johnson said at the time. "I wish [Diesel] all the best and I harbor no ill will there, just because of the clarity we have. Actually, you can erase that last part about 'no ill will.' We'll just keep it with the clarity."
Hobbs & Shaw went on to win the Fast franchise its highest audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Universal Pictures has set the Justin Lin-directed Fast & Furious 9 for May 22, 2020. Fast & Furious 10 follows April 2, 2021.