It appears all is not well between the two stars of the upcoming Fate of the Furious movie.
Multiple entertainment outlets are reporting that Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are being kept apart while the film does its pre-opening press tour, which involves interviews, red carpet runs and photo ops around the world.
An insider on the press tour told The Hollywood Reporter that “They’re keeping them separated as much as possible.”
So what’s going on with these two?
It all started during the sequel’s production in the summer of 2016, when Johnson, 44, called some of his male co-stars “candy asses.” While he didn’t name names, it was assumed that he was referring to 49-year-old Diesel and/or Furious newcomer Scott Eastwood.
“My female co-stars are always amazing, and I love ’em,” wrote Johnson. “My male co-stars however are a different story.”
He also said “[some of them] are chicken s**t.”
After some brief fallout and an alleged showdown on set, Universal Pictures insisted that the feud was finished.
“What happened is over,” said a studio source at the time. “No one expects there to be any lingering effects. When it comes time to promote the movie, this will have no bearing.”
It turns out that’s not what’s happening; now that the press tour has rolled around, the studio appears to be keeping the two main men apart so the movie’s promotion isn’t tarnished in any way.
On Wednesday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Universal surprised attendees with a special screening of Fate of the Furious — its first-ever screening to a public audience, and thus very important for promotional purposes. Diesel was on hand to present the film, and Johnson was nowhere to be found. Other co-stars from the movie, including Tyrese Gibson, Charlize Theron, Ludacris and Kurt Russell, were in attendance.
Strange that Johnson couldn’t make the screening, since he was at CinemaCon the day before to promote his other 2017 blockbuster, Baywatch, and on Monday to introduce the Jumanji remake.
Universal insists that the two actors are just on rotating schedules, and are working different continents at different times.
The pair is contractually obligated to appear together (as is the entire cast) at the New York City premiere on April 8.
This is the eighth film in the powerhouse franchise and the fan base is rabid, so don’t expect a little bad blood to dampen the movie’s performance at the box office.
Fate of the Furious opens in theatres on April 14.