Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has confirmed he is returning to the Fast & Furious franchise for a spin-off about his ‘legendary lawman’ character Hobbs.
A year ago his future in the film series was clouded by doubt amid his feud with Vin Diesel, a longtime mainstay of the movies.
However in last month’s release Fast X, Dwayne delighted and surprised fans by briefly appearing as Hobbs in a mid-credits scene.
Now in a new Instagram post this Wednesday he declared that the cameo was the prelude to a full-scale comeback for his character.
The 53-year-old also addressed his falling-out with Vin, writing: ‘Last summer @vindiesel and I put all the past behind us. We’ll lead with brotherhood and resolve – and always take care of the franchise, characters & FANS that we love.’
‘Just got lei’d’: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has confirmed he is returning to the Fast & Furious franchise for a spin-off about his ‘legendary lawman’ Hobbs
Hunk-tastic: A year ago his future in the film series was clouded by doubt amid his feud with Vin Diesel, a longtime mainstay of the movies; pictured in Fast & Furious 6 in 2013
Dwayne broke the sensational news in an Instagram video that showed him wearing a lei while standing on a Hawaiian balcony overlooking a dazzling ocean view.
He shared that he and Vin have ‘been like brothers for years and despite having our differences, when you lead with the idea of number one, resolve, but then also, you just think about the future and you think about plans that are much bigger than ourselves, and those bigger plans are the bigger buildouts.
‘Those bigger plans are the North Star, as I always like to say. The North Star is always my guiding light in whatever endeavor or opportunity that I am in that I’m passionate about. I always keep a North Star in my clarity and in my focus,’ he said.
‘And in this case the North Star is the franchise that we love. The North Star – our characters that we love. And the North Star – our fans that we love. So when you add all that up, it’s really not a hard decision to make. It’s a yes.
‘Hope you’ve got your funderwear on…,’ the Billions heartthrob teased, crowing: ‘HOBBS IS BACK. And he just got lei’d.’
Dwayne explained: ‘Luke Hobbs will be returning to the Fast & Furious franchise. Your reactions around the world to Hobbs’ return in Fast X have blown us away.’
He added: ‘The next Fast & Furious film you’ll see the legendary lawman in will be the HOBBS movie that will serve as a fresh, new chapter & set up for FASTX: Part II.’
After revealing that he had mended fences with Vin, The Rock wrote: ‘I’ve built my career on an “ Audience First” mentality and that will always serve as my North Star.’
The Hollywood hunk went on: ‘Congratulations to my Fast Family & Universal Studios on the global success of FAST X and as always, Hobbs & @SevenBucksProd [the production company Dwayne founded with his ex-wife Dany Garcia] are motivated to help take the Fast franchise to new and exciting places for fans worldwide.’
He concluded his post by quoting one of his character’s lines in the 2015 movie Furious 7: ‘Daddy’s gotta go to work.’
Dwayne joined the series for the 2011 feature Fast Five and remained on board through the 2017 movie The Fate Of The Furious, the eighth in the chronology.
His character Luke Hobbes was such a hit with viewers that he also led a 2019 spin-off called Hobbes And Shaw alongside action heartthrob Jason Statham.
However The Rock was absent from F9 – and in an emotional Instagram post in November 2021, Vin begged him to return to the fold.
Vin called Dwayne ‘my little brother’ and even invoked their late co-star Paul Walker, who had died tragically in a car crash eight years before.
Using his nickname for Paul, Vin wrote in his Instagram appeal to The Rock: ‘I told you years ago that I was going to fulfill my promise to Pablo. I swore that we would reach and manifest the best Fast in the finale that is 10!’
Vin’s post also included a nod to his own family: ‘As you know, my children refer to you as Uncle Dwayne in my house. There is not a holiday that goes by that they and you don’t send well wishes… but the time has come.’
Dwayne responded by telling CNN: ‘I was very surprised by Vin’s recent post. This past June, when Vin and I actually connected not over social media, I told him directly – and privately – that I would not be returning to the franchise.’
The Rock slammed his former co-star, saying: ‘Vin’s recent public post was an example of his manipulation. I didn’t like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker’s death. Leave them out of it.’
However he had warm words for the franchise, noting: ‘My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible Fast And Furious franchise with gratitude and grace. It’s unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters.’