There was a time when people would say no and it would stick, right? That might not be the message that Vin Diesel received when he was growing up, since trying to get Dwayne Johnson to sign on for the final two (presumably final) Fast and Furious movies has kind of hit a gear that makes it clear that he’s not yet consigned to losing Hobbs entirely from the FF franchise. Dwayne has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t want to continue with the FF franchise and has respectfully repeated himself a few times in order to make it crystal clear that he doesn’t want this opportunity. The character of Luke Hobbs has been a fan favorite since the fifth movie and up until his absence in part 9, he’s been someone that the team could depend on, despite the fact that he started out as an enemy, meaning he was a law enforcement agent of the highest caliber that had been set upon Dom and his crew, who are glorified by the movies and the fans. But if Hobbs ever does show up again in the franchise it’s bound to be in the Hobbs and Shaw spinoff that won’t be a part of the main story.
It’s a good question to ask, however, since there’s been talk of a Hobbs and Shaw sequel, even if the first movie was more or less an action movie in the same style as the 90s, meaning that the impossible is made possible more often than not, and the heroes can’t be hurt unless the plot calls for it. The plot armor in the FF franchise is so incredibly strong that many people simply go with it and don’t question the impossible any longer, as this makes things a little easier and a lot more enjoyable.
But if Dwayne ever does go back on his word and does manage to say yes to the franchise it’s fair to think that it might be kind of a regrettable decision, even though a lot of people might want to see Hobbs return. The reason I say it might be regrettable is that if the next two movies feature John Cena, it’s very likely that the movie would feel even more overloaded than it’s already become. Plus, he’s been such a busy actor throughout the last few years that trying to do everything has likely become nearly impossible. Plus, it sounds like he’s ready to be done with the franchise, which is the bottom line. If he decides to go back or reveals that he’s been planning on coming back for a cameo and is pulling the same trick as the MCU did with Spider-Man: No Way Home, but seeding doubt that anything will ever come of this, it does feel as though he might be risking the ire of the fans just a bit, but not enough for people to turn on him. Instead, it might be another reminder that those in Hollywood tend to say things to get people off the scent, so to speak, in order to prevent any possible information leaks or to keep expectations from getting out of control.
Should this be a genuine refusal to come back to the franchise though, it’s fair to think that Diesel has been a little too aggressive in pursuing Johnson since putting things on social media is akin to tossing a bloody hunk of meat in a tank filled with ravenous piranha, that information will be up for grabs and people will analyze it, write about, talk about, it and start up the gossip and rumor mill in a way that will make certain to blow everything and anything out of proportion as much as possible. This appears to be a simple case of Johnson not wanting to be a part of the franchise any longer, and while Diesel could have worked at him in more than one way, he could have easily kept it off social media and below the radar so that it wouldn’t become a spectacle like this. Of course, without spectacle, one might argue that we might not have entertainment in the first place. But it still sounds like the wrong way to go about it, especially given that Johnson had already made his wishes known. He’s not exactly missing out on a huge payday by not taking on the role of Hobbs again, since any movie he decides to sign onto is bound to make him a hefty paycheck. At this point, Johnson has reached high enough that he can demand an impressive salary no matter where he goes, and many people will gladly pay it. So maybe it’s time for Vin to finally just kick back and wonder who he’s going to add into the final two FF movies that will be just as impressive, or who can at least act as a placeholder.