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What If Vin Diesel Never Returned To Fast & Furious

Despite the success of the first Fast & Furious, Vin Diesel was at one point going to walk away from the franchise – here’s what could’ve happened had he never returned. While it’s hard to imagine the Fast & Furious franchise without Dom Toretto, Diesel chose to pursue The Chronicles of Riddick when discussions of a sequel to The Fast & Furious first emerged. He was notably absent from both 2 Fast 2 Furious and The Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift, despite filming an uncredited cameo in the latter.

Eventually, Vin Diesel returned to the Fast & Furious franchise after being offered more creative control. Universal Pictures offered Diesel the chance to produce the scripts after both 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift fell short critically, paving the road for the family-orientated stunt bonanza that is now the Fast & Furious franchise. In the driving seat, Diesel produced arguably the true sequel to the original, Fast & Furious, and he continues to build a universe with heart, fast cars, and increasingly ludicrous action. Nonetheless, this is what could’ve happened, had Diesel chosen to stay away.

Related: Brie Larson’s Fast & Furious Casting Makes A Female Spinoff More Likely

Toretto’s Family Would Get In Less Trouble
The Fast and the Furious family BBQ at the end of F9.

Toretto may wax lyrical about keeping his family out of danger, but he sure does get them into a lot of trouble. His dogged attempts to find Letty Ortiz’s (Michelle Rodriguez) killer in Fast & Furious results not only in dragging Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) back into the criminal underworld but his own incarceration. The resulting prison break dragged in several members of Toretto’s family and was led by his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) and O’Conner. The franchise sees all three back on the run in Fast Five. Later in the franchise Dom is personally responsible for nearly killing Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), triggering the events of Furious 7 as Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) seeks revenge on Dom’s crew.

Later, Dom’s link to Cipher (Charlize Theron) gets Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky) and his own son kidnaped in The Fate of the Furious, and Dom’s complicated relationship with his brother Jakob (John Cena) drags a retired team back into the action in F9. Despite there being peace at the end of the latest film, the events of Fast X – madly rumored to involve time travel – will almost certainly be triggered by something to do with Dom, and it’s unlikely that something will be anything good. Without Diesel there is no Dom and without Dom the rest of the characters in the Fast & Furious franchise may well have been left in peace.

Jason Statham Doesn’t Join The Fast & Furious
Deckard Shaw enters the Dubai hotel

Had Vin Diesel never returned, Dom Toretto would never have sought out Letty. Letty’s back-story, involving Luke Shaw, would’ve never come to pass and Dom would’ve never played a role in seeing Owen Shaw thrown from a moving plane. This chain of events needed to happen for Owen Shaw’s brother to exist and seek revenge. Audiences may never have even met Deckard Shaw, likely leaving Jason Statham out of the franchise. The iconic British actor swaggered into the Fast & Furious franchise as a main character like it was made for him. Without Diesel, this may have never happened.

Michelle Rodriguez Wouldn’t Return
Fast and Furious Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz

Diesel’s intention of bringing heart back into the franchise after Tokyo Drift has been successful and his persistent advocation for “family” is tightly woven into the franchise. It’s almost certain that Diesel’s sentimentality saw him bring back the old crew when producing the script for the fourth film. Top of that list: Letty Ortiz. Toretto’s eventual wife and original love interest – Ortiz – was also absent from both 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift. While Letty has always been the engine that drives Toretto, Rodriguez has taken issue with the franchise several times, while consistently being backed up by Diesel. It’s unlikely that audiences would’ve seen her again without Diesel’s input in curating the franchise.

Related: Fast & Furious 10 Continues To Fuel Your Time Travel Theories

The Franchise Would’ve Avoided Tangling With The Government
Kurt Russell as Mr Nobody in Fast and Furious

The original The Fast & Furious wasn’t over-the-top ridiculous and was a relatively low-key action film, focused on inhabiting the world of real-world street racing. 2 Fast 2 Furious was a fairly tepid sequel, but it still kept its feet fairly placed in reality. Tokyo Drift expanded the franchise while exploring the real-world street racing niche of drifting. It’s pretty clear that as soon as Diesel returned, the ridiculous factor ramped up pretty quick. Championing bombastic action, impossible stunts, and ludicrous set-pieces, Diesel seems intent at throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. It’s admirable, to throw realism in the bin and try and give the audiences a true thrill-ride, but it would’ve been interesting to see how the universe would’ve evolved without him.

Not only was Vin Diesel clearly responsible for Fast & Furious’ big changes and ramping up the franchise’s action, but his character was the one who led his rag tag group of car thieves into helping Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), and it was Toretto who was coerced into working for Cipher. Combine these plot devices with an increasingly nutty penchant for unbelievable set-pieces and you have a franchise that has fallen away from street racing into the realm of spies, world-ending super weapons, and nuclear submarines. Diesel is arguably responsible for leading both the franchise and his character to tangle with the government, something that could’ve been avoided without him.

Justin Lin Wouldn’t Have Quit Fast X
Justin Lin and Vin Diesel working on Fast Five

If Diesel is responsible for the feel of the Fast universe, movie and TV stalwart Justin Lin has been instrumental in directing most of it. Lin stepped in to direct Tokyo Drift and then remained with the franchise through its re-imagining in the fourth film on to Fast & Furious 6. He stepped out briefly and then returned for F9 and was meant to be back for Fast X, but then a very public blow-out that almost certainly involved Diesel saw Lin leave the franchise for good. Lin said that working with Diesel was difficult and claimed the actor didn’t know his lines. It seems that without Diesel the franchise might’ve kept Lin, but it’s not clear what difference that would’ve made to the tenth film in the franchise.

Could The Fast & Furious Franchise Continue Without Diesel
Fast Furious Dom Toretto Vin Diesel

The simple answer is yes, because it has already happened. Producers of the first sequel had two scripts – and a short – written for 2 Fast 2 Furious, one with Diesel and one without. While they were keen to have him return it was never a given and so the first sequel was developed with both Diesel and Walker set to lead. When Diesel chose to develop Riddick beyond Pitch Black instead of returning, Walker stepped up and the franchise continued. It continued further with Tokyo Drift and while it wasn’t particularly well received, the franchise remained popular with a younger teenage audience. A franchise without Diesel is possible, it just probably wouldn’t have been any good.

Related: Why A Fast & Furious Cipher Spinoff Is Actually A Great Idea

Who Could’ve Led Fast & Furious Instead Of Vin Diesel (Paul Walker Or The Rock?)
The Rock Walker

Diesel would’ve left some pretty big shoes to fill had he decided to leave the Fast saga, as the excitement of a potential solo Dom Toretto film speaks to the strength of his character. If the franchise were to continue, there are several candidates to fill those shoes. Paul Walker would’ve been the most obvious choice, as he comfortably starred in 2 Fast 2 Furious without Diesel. While it wasn’t the smash hit some hoped it would be, that had little to do with the character of Brian O’Connor. The former cop turned fugitive found himself planning a garage with Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) at the end of the sequel. With a clean slate and charismatic presence, the future of the franchise could’ve easily been led by Walker as O’Connor.

Tragically, Paul Walker passed away in 2013. Even if Diesel had never returned, Walker would’ve been able to carry the torch only so far. If forced to look elsewhere there is another who matches Diesel in stature and arguably bests him in charisma: The Rock. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson first appeared in the Fast saga during 2011’s Fast Five. The hulking and imposing Luke Hobbs oozed lead actor energy, much like The Rock himself. If things had gone well, a Rock-led Fast and Furious film may have been on the cards. As it happens, he had a pretty big falling out with Diesel and left the franchise after The Fate of the Furious. He has however returned to Hobbs, playing him in Hobbs and Shaw and is set to play him again in a future sequel. If Diesel ever fully leaves the franchise, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that The Rock could return.

Next: The Rock’s DCEU Plan Could Be A Fast & Furious Redo

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Fast & Furious 11 Release Delay & Filming Start Date Confirmed By Director


Fast and Furious 11
is facing a release date delay to Summer 2026 due to strikes, with director Louis Leterrier confirming the sequel will not be hitting its April 4, 2025 date.
Leterrier also confirms that filming starts in Fall 2025 after finishing a horror movie in September.
The final installment in the
Fast Saga
reunites Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto for one last ride, while also leaving the door open for other spinoffs.

After facing multiple delays due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America strikes, Fast and Furious 11 is seeing its release date delayed. The next installment in the Vin Diesel-fronted franchise is expected to be the last mainline sequel, while development continues on the Dwayne Johnson-led spinoff Hobbs & Reyes, a mysterious standalone movie penned by Fast X’s Zach Dean and a potential female-led spinoff. While a filming start date was never confirmed, Universal had previously set the movie for an April 2025 release date.

During a recent interview with Collider at a CCXP MX panel, Louis Leterrier was asked for an update on Fast and Furious 11. The director went on to confirm that the final mainline installment in the action franchise will no longer be making its April 4, 2025 release date, instead now aiming for a Summer 2026 release window with the filming start date being set for this fall. Check out what Leterrier said below:

It’s happening. It’s happening very, very soon. I’m able to shoot a little horror movie this summer. I’m finishing my horror movie on September 15th, and I start Fast on September 16th.

Will Fast 11’s Multiple Delays Help Or Hurt The Sequel?

Much like the tenth film before it, Fast and Furious 11 has faced a few behind-the-scenes hardships in its road to getting off the ground, namely the delays stemming from the 2023 strikes. While the latest movie seems to have retained its core creative team in comparison to the shift in directors from franchise vet Justin Lin to Leterrier on Fast X after reported creative differences between the former and Diesel, this change didn’t seem to help much with the continued downward trend recent sequels have seen from critics. Check out how the franchise’s Rotten Tomatoes scores compare below:

Title RT Critical Score RT Audience Score The Fast and the Furious 54% 74% 2 Fast 2 Furious 37% 50% The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift 37% 69% Fast & Furious 28% 67% Fast Five 78% 83% Fast & Furious 6 71% 84% Furious 7 81% 82% The Fate of the Furious 67% 72% Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw 67% 88% F9: The Fast Saga 59% 82% Fast X 56% 84%

Even looking outside the Fast and Furious franchise, many movie sequels have found themselves hurt by various delays, be they from creative changes, general release shifts or other factors. The action genre in particular is one in which lengthier development periods can lead to diminishing returns, be it A Good Day to Die Hard, Rambo: Last Blood or Diesel’s own xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. While Fast and Furious 11 may only be getting pushed back by a year, the delay is nonetheless a concern that the final installment could find itself in trouble.

Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) looking angry with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) looking unimpressed in Fast & Furious

Related 10 Most Exciting Things To Expect From Fast 11 Fast & Furious 11 will pull all the strings to become bigger than the previous installments, and here is why the film is worth being excited about.

On the other hand, the longer wait for Fast and Furious 11 to close out the mainline series of movies could actually prove beneficial for the sequel. Though Leterrier may be busy with another project in the lead-up to filming the next installment, writers Oren Uziel and Christina Hodson should now have more than enough time to really look back at the script and ensure it learns from the critical missteps of recent installments to deliver a satisfying conclusion to the Dominic Toretto saga.

Source: Collider

Fast and Furious 11 temp poster Fast and Furious 11 Fast and Furious 11 is the final movie in the Fast Saga. It reunites Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto with the rest of the cast for one last ride. However, the franchise is open for spinoff films like Hobbs & Shaw afterward.Director Louis Leterrier Release Date April 4, 2025 Distributor(s) Universal Pictures Writers Christina Hodson , Oren Uziel

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Vin Diesel Already Has His Perfect Fast & Furious Replacement Franchise With 51-Year-Old Remake


Vin Diesel’s dominance in Fast & Furious is ending, but Kojak could kick off a new action franchise for him.
Kojak’s reboot faces an uncertain future, but its similarity to Fast & Furious makes it a worthy project for Diesel.
Diesel’s potential shift from criminal racer to cop signifies a fresh start in a possible Fast & Furious-like series.

Vin Diesel’s days of playing Dominic Toretto are numbered, but the actor has already found his perfect Fast & Furious replacement. Diesel found a major breakout role in the early 2000s thanks to participating in The Fast and the Furious. The original 2001 street racing crime movie became the springboard for a sprawling franchise that has lasted for over two decades. The success of the Fast & Furious movies transformed Vin Diesel’s career, turning him into an even bigger star, especially in the action movie genre. But, Fast & Furious 11 is planned as the final chapter for him and the franchise.

The Fast & Furious franchise’s end will put Vin Diesel in an unfamiliar position of not having a major franchise to lean back on. This presents the actor with various options, such as changing the course of his career to pursue non-franchise roles. However, the more likely outcome is that Diesel will attempt to find a new IP that can replace Fast & Furious. He has had trouble in that regard recently, with franchises like xXx or Riddick running cold and Bloodshot and The Last Witch Hunter failing to launch franchises. There is another option for Diesel, though.

2:03 Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto from The Fast & Furious Franchise

Related Vin Diesel May Have Spoiled Fast & Furious 11’s Ending With $2.7 Billion Movie Comparison Dom’s death happening in Fast & Furious 11 may have been spoiled already, with Vin Diesel comparing the upcoming movie to another big franchise.

Kojak Can Be Vin Diesel’s New Action Crime Franchise After Fast & Furious
Diesel Has Been Developing The Reboot Since 2015

The impending conclusion of the Fast & Furious franchise means it is finally time for Vin Diesel’s Kojak reboot to get off the ground. The project was announced back in 2015 with Diesel re-teaming with Universal Pictures, the studio behind Fast & Furious, to develop a movie based on Kojak. The original TV series starred Telly Savalas as Theo Kokaj and ran for three seasons after debuting in 1973. The series revolves around Kojak, a New York detective known for being willing to go beyond the law and a love for cars and lollipops, and follows him as he investigates different cases.

Kojak was rebooted in 2005 as a TV show starring Ving Rhames, but it only ran for six episodes

Development on Vin Diesel’s Kojak movie has not been very active in the nine years since it was announced. However, it still maintains the base similarities to Fast & Furious, which makes the project a worthwhile endeavor for Diesel in terms of finding a new action franchise. He would now have another big action series about cars and crime, essentially making Kojak into a newer version of Fast & Furious. The irony here is that Diesel takes on the role of a cop after playing criminal racer Dominic Toretto.

Vin Diesel’s Involvement Can Morph Kojak Into A Major Action Franchise
Kojak Could Be A Fast & Furious Clone
Telly Savalas talking on the phone in Kojak

Looking at the original TV show, Kojak might not necessarily project to be a major blockbuster action franchise akin to Fast & Furious. The TV series was relatively grounded and small due to the nature of its production. However, the fact that Diesel and Universal pinpointed this property as something they wanted to revive together is telling. The announcement of Kojak’s reboot came months after Furious 7 debuted in theaters and took the franchise to new heights at the box office and in terms of how ridiculously big the action and story could get.

It’s sometimes difficult to remember that Fast & Furious started off with a story about DVD thieves who were also street racers before Diesel helped turn it into something much bigger. With that experience and success already behind him, it would be understandable if a similar path was envisioned for Kojak. The series could then morph into a Fast & Furious clone, one that gives Vin Diesel a new franchise to headline and Universal a “fresh” action franchise to grow.

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The Rock’s WWE Run Means Fast & Furious 11 Must Make 1 Major Hobbs Change


Hobbs from Fast & Furious 11 needs a gritty edge like The Rock’s WWE character to keep the franchise fresh and exciting.
The Rock’s time away from the Fast & Furious universe provides the perfect reason for Hobbs to return with a personal vendetta and a more savage attitude.
While Hobbs shouldn’t become a full-fledged villain in Fast & Furious 11, adding some edginess and dirty tricks could make his character more intriguing and dynamic.

Fast & Furious 11 must make one major Hobbs change after The Rock’s incredible WWE run. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s WWE return surpassed his recent movies, with the actor creating some of the best work of his career. Having returned to a thunderous reception, The Rock was able to flip the crowd’s reception by becoming a heel and playing a major part in WrestleMania’s main events. The Rock hasn’t played a villain on screen for years, as even his depiction of Black Adam lent more into the character’s anti-hero side, which made his wrestling run all the more refreshing.

While his wrestling character may not perfectly translate into the Fast & Furious universe, there is one aspect of The Rock’s WWE run that the franchise should attempt to implement. After debuting in Fast Five, The Rock’s best Fast & Furious scenes helped contribute to the movie series becoming so popular, with Luke Hobbs becoming an instrumental part of the story. He was even given his own spinoff alongside Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) and is set to get a solo movie in the future. Despite this, Hobbs would still benefit from adding one key aspect of The Rock’s WWE run.

The Rock’s WWE Run Proves Fast & Furious 11 Needs To Give Hobbs More Of An Edge
Fast & Furious Would Benefit From Hobbs Adopting Some Of The Rock’s WWE Tendancies
Dwayne The Rock Johnson in Black Adam, WWE, and Hobbs and Shaw

Given how electrifying The Rock’s recent WWE run was, there is no doubt Fast & Furious 11 needs to give Hobbs more of an edge. Although the character has had his more serious moments, like most of the Fast & Furious cast, Hobbs tends to mix action with comedy. Hobbs and Shaw are supposed to be two of the more stoic heroes, yet they are constantly at each other’s throats and cracking jokes to help maintain the franchise’s lighthearted core. However, giving Hobbs a grittier side would help the character thrive upon his return.

The Rock’s Fast & Furious return may redeem Fast X’s box office, but the character needs to come back stronger than ever. By allowing him to be more ruthless, he can still maintain some elements of comedy but also become more interesting in the process. Johnson proved that despite being a detestable heel, he was still as hilarious as ever during his recent WWE tenure. This proves that he can maintain Fast & Furious’ tone and humorous style while being more layered; therefore, Hobbs adopting some of The Rock’s WWE characteristics could make him even more entertaining.

Fast & Furious Already Has A Reason For Hobbs To Be More Savage
Hobbs Has Been Away From The Franchise For Several Years

Making a major change to Hobbs’ character could be tough to explain, but Fast & Furious 11 already has a great reason to make him more savage. His four-year absence from the franchise gives him a perfect excuse to come back with a vengeance and potentially have a personal attachment to Fast & Furious 11’s villains. Hobbs’ time away from the main story could be explained through a connection to Fast X’s secondary villain, Aimes. Aimes’ villain twist in Fast X was well executed and suggests he’ll be around for the sequel, which is the perfect reason to bring back Hobbs.

Having a more personal story with one of the villains could allow Hobbs to continue his great quips and one-liners, but it would also give him more of an edge.

Fast X never explained why he’s back, but having a personal vendetta against Aimes could be an intriguing reason. Given Dom and Dante are the focal point of the franchise’s conclusion, Hobbs returning to take down Aimes would avoid overshadowing the main story while still giving him an interesting role. Having a personal story with one of the villains could allow Hobbs to continue his great quips and one-liners, while also giving him more of an edge. This provides The Rock with the perfect reason to implement some of his heel traits while still portraying a morally good hero.

2:34 Image 147 Related Predicting The Ending Of All 13 Fast & Furious Characters In Fast 11 The Fast Saga is set to conclude with Fast & Furious 11 – or Fast X 2 – but how will Dom Toretto and his family’s stories come to a definitive end?

Why Fast & Furious Can’t Bring The Rock Back As A Villain
Hobbs Already Appeared As An Antagonist In Fast Five
A custom image featuring Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs in the Fast and Furious movies Custom image by Debanjana Chowdhury

Although The Rock’s villainous tendencies worked well in the WWE, Fast & Furious can’t bring him back as an antagonist. Johnson already played the main villain of Fast Five, as Hobbs was originally an enemy of Dom and his crew before becoming an ally. Hobbs’ role in Fast Five was one of his best, but despite being the main antagonist, he always had a level of integrity. Dropping all of this to make him a villain in the final movie would be completely unnecessary, especially as the franchise needs him to remain a hero for his spinoff.

Fast & Furious 11 may end the main story, but The Rock will be part of the franchise beyond this, and altering his character so drastically wouldn’t make any sense. Instead, adding some extra edge to his character would have the same effect and would avoid stealing the thunder from Dante and Aimes. Although Fast & Furious 11 shouldn’t make him a villain, the film can still allow Hobbs to play dirty and pull some cheap tricks in order to show a grittier side, while letting him taunt his enemies when he inevitably helps save the day.

Fast & Furious 11
is scheduled to be released in theaters on April 4, 2025.

Fast and Furious 11 temp poster Fast and Furious 11 Fast and Furious 11 is the final movie in the Fast Saga. It reunites Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto with the rest of the cast for one last ride. However, the franchise is open for spinoff films like Hobbs & Shaw afterward.Director Louis Leterrier Release Date April 4, 2025 Distributor(s) Universal Pictures Writers Christina Hodson , Oren Uziel

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