Fast and Furious 9 may look a lot different when it hits theaters in 2020. That’s because Tyrese Gibson, who portrays the lovable Roman Pearce, a key character of the franchise, is threatening to leave if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is in the movie.
Gibson took to Instagram to post an image of Vin Diesel, The Rock and himself, and threatened to depart from the next movie if Johnson is involved.
Tension among the cast has been building up over the past few years. It started with The Rock taking a veiled shot at someone in the Fast cast (many speculated it was Diesel). Diesel fired back, but then the studio stepped in to diffuse the situation. It did not work. That tension continued to snow ball through Fate of the Furious and it now has reached a tipping point with Gibson possibly leaving the franchise for good.
Gibson’s threat stems from an earlier post he published criticizing The Rock for making a Fast and Furious spin off movie with Jason Statham. This led to Fast 9’s release date being pushed back to 2020.
Aside from this hiccup, production on Fast 9 seems to be going well. Last week, Diesel announced that Justin Lin was returning to direct not only Fast 9, but also Fast 10, and that Jordana Brewster would be returning to the franchise as well.
With the Fast 9 release date still so far away, there’s plenty of time to sort out the issues with Gibson. If not, the franchise may be without a key—albeit easily replaceable—character.