After Bagging $10M for Fast & Furious 6, Dwayne Johnson Was on the Verge of Missing Out From Furious 7 Despite Being in the Plans, Here’s Why

Published 05/19/2023, 2:30 PM EDT

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Dwayne Johnson hit the headlines earlier this week after reports confirmed his presence in Fast X, the tenth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise. The 51-year-old actor made his debut in F5 and was subsequently a part of sequels. Johnson, however, discontinued his association with the franchise after the eighth film citing disputes with the cast. However, the actor could have been forced to part ways after filming the sixth installment, which was released in 2013.

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It would have been a $15 million loss for the $800 million wrestler-turned-actor had that happened.

Dwayne Johnson almost missed out on billion-dollar film

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After taking home $10 million checks each for the fifth and sixth installments of the Fast franchise, Johnson received a bigger remuneration for his work in Furious 7. The $15 million he reportedly took for the 2015 film, wouldn’t have materialized had the studio stuck to their original plans.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Universal wanted to shoot Furious 7 just after the finish of Fast & Furious 6. This would have clashed with The Great One’s schedule as he was shooting for the titular role in Hercules. But the studio had to pause filming after Paul Walker died tragically in a car accident on November 30, 2013. As the film was placed in production hell, filming began later.

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By the time it resumed in April of the following year, Hercules had finished production. After Furious 7 was released the following April, it went on to rake up $1.5 billion worldwide, making it Johnson’s first billion-dollar film.

On the other hand, Hercules earned nearly $245 million at the box office. Even though the film didn’t make as much as Johnson’s other offerings, it played a vital role in establishing him as a credible actor. Interestingly, The Fate of the Furious, the sequel to Furious 7, grossed $1.2 billion at the box-office.

Even after the gargantuan success of the film, Johnson opted to stay away from the next movie and had a feud with Vin Diesel, the franchise’s main protagonist. So what prompted Johnson’s return?

Is a bigger pie awaiting Dwayne Johnson in the Fast and Furious franchise?

After enjoying significant screen time in Fast films 5 to 8, Johnson’s role was relegated to a post-credit scene in Fast X. It is unusual for A-listers to have such a miniscule role, more so in a project that they have rejected publicly. Which begs the question, why did Dwayne Johnson return to the Fast and Furious franchise?

via Imago

For this, one needs to go back to Johnson’s Fast debut- F5. It was his character Hobbs who killed Hernan Reyes and not Dominik Toretto. Reyes’ son, Dante, now all grown up, avenges his father’s death by terrorizing Dom’s crew in Fast X. He later calls Hobbs to let the latter know that he’s coming after him.

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This is likely to set up an on-screen clash between Jason Mamoa and Dwayne Johnson, who play Reyes and Hobbs respectively. Having a direct clash with the main villain automatically guarantees more screen time and Johnson is likely to have used it as an inspiration for his comeback.

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Meanwhile, Johnson would be hoping for his latest project to cross the $1 billion mark as that would be a hat-trick of billion-dollar Fast and Furious movies for him.

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Written by:

Sudipto Maity

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One take at a time

Sudipto is a WWE writer at Essentially Sports. He holds a PG degree in Mass Communication. Being an experienced journalist, Sudipto has interviewed WWE Superstars Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus and hopes to add some more names to that list.
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Edited by:

Sherjeel Malik

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