When the cast of “The Fate of the Furious” — the eighth film in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise — hit CinemaCon to preview footage for theater owners in Las Vegas on March 29, it was like a star-studded family reunion.
Longtime lead Vin Diesel gave a moving tribute to late actor Paul Walker and laughed it up with co-stars Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell and Tyrese Gibson.
But there was one member of the family missing: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has appeared alongside Diesel in the last four “Furious” movies.
Sources told The Post that’s because Johnson and Diesel can’t stand to be in the same place at the same time anymore after simmering tensions came to a head on the set of “The Fate of the Furious.” In fact, Johnson was at the same place just the day before, promoting buzzy blockbusters “Baywatch” and “Jumanji” to the CinemaCon crowd. Twelve hours later, he was on the Miami set of his HBO show, “Ballers.”
But a Hollywood insider told The Post that it wasn’t TV work that kept Johnson, 44, from attending the “Furious” dog-and-pony show.
“I’ve been with this crew a lot,” said the Hollywood insider. “Vin decides who shows up [for promotional events]; he always has.”
Indeed, the franchise is Diesel’s baby. He’s been a producer on the movies, which launched him as an action star and have collectively earned a whopping $3.9 billion globally, since 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious.”
So when Johnson lashed out at Diesel, 49, near the end of filming for “Fate,” there were bound to be repercussions. On Aug. 8, 2016, Johnson posted a scathing — but blind — Facebook attack on one or more unnamed male co-stars.
Dwayne finally lost patience after [multiple] films when Vin showed up late for their final [shared] scene on ‘Fate’
“My female co-stars are always amazing, and I love ’em. My male co-stars however are a different story,” he wrote. “Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t. The ones that don’t are too chicken s–t to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses.”
According to TMZ, Johnson was boiling mad at Diesel repeatedly showing up to set late and refusing to start the day before 10 a.m. Insiders reveal that the turmoil has been a long time coming.
“Dwayne finally lost patience after [multiple] films when Vin showed up late for their final [shared] scene on ‘Fate,’ ” said another movie-business insider.
After Johnson’s social-media scolding, the two A-listers allegedly had it out in his trailer. That night, when the director called “cut” on Diesel’s last scene at around 1 a.m., the actor told the cast and crew, “Daddy’s gone,” and high-tailed it out of there. (Johnson still had another week of shooting.)