The reasons why Vin Diesel didn't return as Dom for 2 Fast 2 Furious
There was no 2 Vin 2 Diesel this time around...
The Fast & The Furious was released in June 2001, and managed to rake in over $207 million from a $37 million budget, so of course the producers wanted a sequel ASAP.
Apparently they'd already known that Vin Diesel might not come back for the sequel, so they set the writers to come up with two different versions of the follow-up, one which featured Dom Toretto, and one which didn't.
Actors not returning for the sequels to the hit original isn't new - think of Keanu Reeves for Speed 2, or Will Smith for Independence Day: Resurgence, or Linda Hamilton for Terminator 3 - but the reasons behind Diesel not returning for 2003's 2 Fast 2 Furious were a bit more complicated that usual.
On the very first episode of TBR Spotlight: The Fast & Furious Saga, in which Eoghan, Garry and Rory tackle the first two Fast & Furious movies, they talk [LISTEN from 31.55 below] about the reasons behind Vin Diesel not returning for the role of Dom in the first sequel.
Despite producers reportedly offering Diesel a whopping $25 million paycheque to return, he still turned it down, telling Variety that "They didn't take a Francis Ford Coppola approach to it. They approached it like they did sequels in the '80s and '90s, when they would drum up a new story unrelated for the most part, and slap the same name on it."
That is fair enough - and it is explicitly exactly what producers did with John McClane and the Die Hard sequels - but it would've helped Diesel's argument a bit more if he'd turned down the sequel for something better and more successful.
Instead, he went off to make The Chronicles Of Riddick, the huge sequel to the 2000 sci-fi horror Pitch Black. Budgeted at an astounding $120 million before a penny was spent on promotion and advertising, the movie made $116 million at the global box office, whereas 2 Fast 2 Furious made over $236 million.
Critically, neither movie came away unscathed, with 2 Fast 2 Furious scoring 36% on Rotten Tomatoes, and The Chronicles Of Riddick landing just 29%.
As we know, Diesel would eventually return to the Fast Saga, but years after the initial dismissal, he did tell Uproxx that "I would've said, 'Don't walk away from it just because the script sucked in 2 Fast 2 Furious because there's an obligation to the audience to fight, no matter what, to make that film as good as possible.' I might have had a little bit more patience or belief in the long-term of it."
It would be another three years before Diesel actually got behind the wheel for the franchise again, but it would still be another few years before it would all pay off...
2 Fast 2 Furious and all of the other entires in The Fast Saga are all available to watch on NOW right now, while Fast & Furious 9 is currently scheduled to arrive Irish cinemas this July.
Clip via The Fast Saga