Vin Diesel is kinda like that guy at all the parties who always wants to talk to you about his awesome new startup. It’s gonna be the best, way better than the last one, it’s gonna win tons of awards and make billions of dollars. Sure, Vin, you say. That sounds great. But he just keeps doing it. It comes from a good place: the man loves his movies. But, boy, does he love hyping them even more. Most recently, he suggested that we haven’t even seen Groot’s mega-evolution yet — the first two forms have just been kid stuff.
Last summer, a spat allegedly broke out between Fast and Furious franchise megastars Vin Diesel and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson while shooting the latest installment The Fate of the Furious. There were rumors of unprofessionalism on set, Johnson threw around the term “candy-ass” pretty liberally, it was a hoot for all involved. But it did cast some doubt on Johnson’s future with the series; there was no telling whether the performer could be persuaded to return for another collaboration with a guy he seemingly couldn’t stand. But a new revelation today (well, new for all of you — Johnson and I are well-documented besties and have been Gchatting about this all week) clarifies the fate of this furious man.
For years, one of the internet’s dirty little secrets has been that people really enjoy The Fate of the Furious: Tokyo Drift. A healthy flop at the time of its release — the film’s $60 million gross is half that of 2 Fast 2 Furious, the second-lowest grossing movie in the Fast and the Furious franchise — Tokyo Drift has climbed steadily back into fans’ favor due to the lasting appeal of Sung Kang’s Han Lue and a bit of chronological trickery in a later film that boosted this one’s reputation. It’s amazing how much better a film gets when you stop being mad at it for failing to bring back any of the main characters.
F8Gate. The ‘Candy Ass’ Heard ’Round the World. Call it what you will, but last year’s unexpected beef between Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel on the set of The Fate of the Furious has resulted in a Hollywood blind item almost as interesting and epic as the movie franchise that spawned it. Forget about turning your back on family; watching Dwayne Johnson lose his legendary cool over one of his costars was like watching a couple you really admired go through a messy divorce. Were things really that out-of-control behind the scenes or was this all an elaborate ruse involving two men who understand the showmanship involved in a proper heel turn?
FYI dudes, a new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer is premiering tomorrow night on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (that guy sure is having a good week), and even though it’s only a day and some change away, Marvel has generously offered up a short teaser for James Gunn’s highly-anticipated sequel. In addition to showing off what appears to be the space-equivalent of a campfire, the new sneak peek reveals our first look at the return of Nebula, played by Karen Gillan.
It’s funny how things work out. When Marvel was putting together the cast for Guardians of the Galaxy, they probably never dreamed that it would be former professional wrestler and MMA fighter Dave Bautista who would emerge as the film’s most likable character. And yet, with his deadpan line deliveries and awesome physicality, Bautista stood out among his live-action costars — I mean, nobody was going to beat Groot — as the funniest and most sympathetic of all the Guardians. Just like that, Bautista was a bonafide movie star and one of the biggest strengths of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Movie sets. If you’ve watched La La Land or even Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, you know they’re supposed to be glamorous. Bright lights, brighter stars, exotic locales ... So, what am I doing here in an abandoned convention center outside Atlanta?
Dwayne Johnson is a big man in every sense of the word. Physically, he’s a small planet, giving the moon a run for its money as the most important celestial body to be caught in Earth’s orbit. His personality and spirit, though, are even bigger. You rarely if ever hear stories about Johnson losing his cool or brushing off a fan, choosing instead to spend every waking minute of every waking day reminding us that movie stars do still exist in 2016.
To honor the 15th anniversary of the movie that started it all, Universal is re-releasing The Fast and the Furious in theaters nationwide. Revisiting your introduction to Dom, Letty, Brian and the magical world of NOS should help make the wait for Fast 8 a little easier, but you’ll only have a limited time to see the original film on the big screen.