Jean-Claude Van Damme claimed in a recent interview with The Telegraph that Vin Diesel was not interested in having him star in the “Fast & Furious” franchise. The ongoing action series has employed action movie veterans such as Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham over the years, and Van Damme said the franchise was also interested in getting him on board. It was Diesel who allegedly said no.
The Telegraph notes: “Van Damme has also missed out on a role in another mega-franchises. ‘They want me in “Fast and Furious,”‘ he says. And what a bit of casting that would be. But Vin Diesel said, ‘No, I don’t want him.'”
More from Variety
Variety has reached out to Diesel’s representatives for comment. Van Damme did not not disclose which “Fast & Furious” project he was potentially being courted for.
Instead of joining “Fast & Furious,” Van Damme got involved in another Hollywood action franchise when he appeared as the villain in 2012’s “The Expendables 2.” The film included a climax in which he faces off against Sylvester Stallone, another veteran of the action movie genre.
“People have been driving Tesla on the screen,” Van Damme said. “Beautiful, perfect CGI. And maybe some people want to go back to the stick shift for a while. Some people. You know what I’m saying as a metaphor? I’m a stick shift.”
The Telegraph adds: “The latest installment, ‘The Expendables 4,’ has just tanked at the box office. Van Damme doesn’t know why. Perhaps because Van Damme isn’t in it, I suggest. He was killed off in the second film, but Stallone teased that Van Damme might return at some point as Jean Vilain’s twin, Claude — a nod to Van Damme’s twin roles in ‘Double Impact.’ ‘Yeah! That’s what Stallone told me,’ says Van Damme, laughing. Well, there’s always ‘Expendables 5.’ ‘Or 25,’ he says.
As for “Fast & Furious,” the most recent installment in the franchise, “Fast X,” opened in May and grossed $704 million at the worldwide box office. While domestic interest in the series has waned (“Fast X” only grossed $145 million in North America), the franchise remains incredibly popular overseas ($558 million global).
Universal will release the 11th “Fast & Furious” movie in theaters on April 4, 2025.
Best of Variety