Vin Diesel now goes with the Fast and Furious franchise like bread goes with butter, but surprisingly, he isn’t actually in all of the movies. After the first Fast movie came out in 2001, Diesel made his other passion project The Chronicles of Riddick, and comedy movie The Pacifier before being persuaded to return for a cameo at the end of Tokyo Drift. The rest, as they say, is history.
According to The Wrap, both Vin Diesel and The Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen were asked to return for the sequel, but Diesel left the project. Cohen and Diesel teamed up in 2002 for xXx, in which Diesel played extreme sports athlete Xander Cage.
Diesel told Variety in a 2015 magazine profile that he was unhappy with the script for 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and turned down a $25 million pay day on the film. Cohen left soon after, replaced by director John Singleton, and the film ended up focusing on Brian and his boyhood friend Roman Pierce, played by Tyrese Gibson.
Since properly returning to the franchise in 2009, Diesel has made a further six movies and his Dom Toretto is very much the pater familias of the Fast fam. He is currently filming the tenth movie in the saga over-all, Fast X. The franchise is almost unrecognisable now, compared to its street racing origins.
The cast has also grown considerably, adding prestigious Oscar-winners such as Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron, and Brie Larson. Jason Momoa has also joined, as the villain of the piece. Jack Reacher himself, Alan Ritchson also has a role. Fast X is apparently the first in a two-part finale to the long-running saga. Director Louis Leterrier stepped in after Justin Lin left over creative differences.