Here’s a complete 180 in previous potential casting news.
Vin Diesel held a Facebook Q&A last week where he revealed the character Luke Hobbs in Fast Five, wasn’t written for Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Instead, the role of government bounty hunter was written for someone completely different. What buff, popular actor was the part written for? Iconic grumpy old man Tommy Lee Jones. That’s a hard pivot.
It’s quite unlikely Jones and Johnson have ever been considered for the same role before. Jones is a grizzled, dramatic actor who’s seriousness on projects and in public have become legendary. Johnson, meanwhile, is a former WWE wrestler with charisma to burn. He’s a physical specimen who brings copious amounts of energy to every role – even if the movie sucks.
The character of Hobbs is more on the Johnson side of character performance. Can you imagine Tommy Lee Jones filming this scene? He’d reject it on premise alone.
Fast Five launched the series into new territory. At the time, it was the highest-grossing film ($625+ million worldwide) in the series by nearly doubling the total of its predecessors. Adding The Rock played a big part in that. Jones would have brought something entirely different to the role, but the series wouldn’t have grown the way it did without Johnson.
The casting would have been weird, but we all can sleep easy knowing like Johnson, Diesel would have had a tough time getting along with Jones.