Last August, Universal swore that its “The Fate of the Furious” stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel had moved beyond their beef that simmered on set, but reports from the film’s press tour on Wednesday suggest otherwise.
The Hollywood Reporter cites sources who say the two high-octane actors are being kept from one another as the “Fast” team continues its publicity tour toward the F. Gary Gray-directed film’s April 14th opening.
“They’re keeping them separated as much as possible,” says an insider.
Universal brought footage of the film to CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Wednesday, where Diesel, Charlize Theron and the rest of the cast were on hand to promote the eighth installment in the $4 billion “Fast and Furious” franchise. Johnson, however, was glaringly absent…already back on the set of “Ballers” in Miami.
But just 12 hours earlier, Johnson was in Vegas, promoting Paramount’s “Baywatch” presentation at CinemaCon.
Universal downplayed any simmering tensions and said the two actors simply have been on different continents throughout the tour. But sources say that the CinemaCon scheduling could have been easily accommodated.
The beef dates back to the waning days of the 100-day Atlanta shoot when the frequently tardy Diesel arrived late for his final scene with Johnson, prompting Johnson to vent about his co-star on Facebook, where he wrote cryptically: “My female co-stars are always amazing, and I love ’em. My male co-stars however are a different story,” adding that “some” are “chicken sh*t” and “candy asses.” That led to a heated exchange between Diesel and Johnson in the latter’s trailer. Diesel was publicly fingered as the source of Johnson’s social media outburst, and the studio was left doing damage control for two key players in its mega-franchise. Diesel is the indispensable part of the franchise, having been with it since its first outing in 2001 (two more installments are already in the works). But Johnson is arguably the bigger star, having solidified his status as one of Hollywood’s biggest box-office draws.
At the time, a studio source said, “What happened is over, and no one expects there to be any lingering effects. When it comes time to promote the movie, this will have no bearing.”
But outside of the film’s trailer launch in Times Square in December, the two have kept their distance (both are contractually obligated to appear at the upcoming New York premiere April 8).
(Photo Source: AP)