The Rock called Diesel's post 'an example of manipulation,' adding that he didn't like that he brought up his kids and Paul Walker.
Dwayne Johnson is rejecting Vin Diesel's public plea to return to the Fast & Furious franchise. The Rock admits he was "very surprised" by Diesel's request and even called it "an example of manipulation."
"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," Johnson tells CNN. "I was firm yet cordial with my words and said that I would always be supportive of the cast and always root for the franchise to be successful, but that there was no chance I would return. I privately spoke with my partners at Universal as well, all of whom were very supportive as they understand the problem."
The last time Diesel and Johnson appeared together in a Fast & Furious movie was in 2017's The Fate of the Furious. In November, Diesel took to Instagram to call out Johnson telling him that he should return to the franchise to "fulfill" his destiny.
"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," Johnson continues. "We had spoken months ago about this and came to a clear understanding. My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible Fast & Furious franchise with gratitude and grace. It's unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters."
He adds that regardless of the situation, "I'm confident in the Fast universe and its ability to consistently deliver for the audience, and I truly wish my former co-stars and crew members the best of luck and success in the next chapter."
The actors' reported drama on the Fast and Furious sets went public in 2016 when Johnson called a few of his male co-stars "candy a**es" and "unprofessional" on Instagram, which fans quickly speculated was about Diesel. A source told ET at the time that Diesel and Johnson definitely clashed on set during filming.
In Diesel's post, he wrote in part, "My little brother Dwayne... the time has come. The world awaits the finale of Fast 10. 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. Legacy awaits. 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!"
The Jungle Cruise star previously shared in a Vanity Fair profile that he met with Diesel to hash things out after the post went viral, but that he wouldn't necessarily "call it a peaceful meeting."
"I would call it a meeting of clarity. He and I had a good chat in my trailer, and it was out of that chat that it really became just crystal clear that we are two separate ends of the spectrum. And agreed to leave it there," he said at the time.
The action franchise will conclude with two more films. Back in June, Diesel told ET that fans won't be disappointed in the popular franchise's final two films, F10 and F11.
For more on Diesel and Johnson's time together on the Fast & Furious films, see below.