The Fate of the Furious Lineup

The Fate Of The Furious is totally overloaded with stars and major action sequences to dazzle and thrill audiences... but as it happens we evidently missed out on potentially one of the most badass movie fights of the modern era. This is because there was originally a plan to have the movie feature a three way battle between Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Hobbes (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) that never came to be due to budget and schedule concerns. Director F. Gary Gray recently revealed to me,

There was a three way fight between Jason Statham, The Rock and Vin Diesel. It was a pretty awesome set piece, but the description went way too long and we were already planning to shoot on four different continents with seven units, and it was something that needed to be trimmed out just for practical and schedule reasons.

In The Fate of the Furious, we get to see some good one-on-one battles between Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson, as well as Johnson and Vin Diesel, but sadly we don't ever get to see the three of them get together at any point and exchange blows. I learned about this scene that never was yesterday when I had the pleasure of hopping on the phone with F. Gary Gray in advance of the movie's upcoming home video release, and discussed how the film wound up changing through development. I specifically asked if there was one thing that he really wanted to see from early drafts find its way into the finished cut of the movie, and it was the Statham vs. The Johnson vs. Diesel battle that he was eager to highlight.

Gary Gray didn't go into a whole lot of detail in the short interview about where the scene would have taken place within the movie -- and thinking back on it you do wonder how it would have fit in. After all, Dominic Toretto is separated from Hobbes and Deckard for most of the movie, as he is off being evil with Charlize Theron's Cipher while the other two try work with the main ensemble to try and find a way to stop him. The director says that scheduling and pacing were the issues that the scene wound up facing before getting cut, but it's hard not to wonder if perhaps the sequence may have felt forced within the plot, just trying to get the three way battle to happen on the big screen.

Of course, the Dominic Toretto/Hobbes/Deckard Shaw fight wasn't the only thing that wound up not making it into the finished version of The Fate of the Furious, as F. Gary Gray told me that the film actually went through a good number of changes before being presented as the finished product that we saw on the big screen a few months ago. Said the director,

We changed quite a bit. It's the process of making sure everything is the best it can be. That's my process, and the process that Vin Diesel has used too. And when you have superstars, they have opinions. So we did a lot of massaging along the way and I think it made it better.

Sadly the Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, and Jason Statham fight was never filmed, but audiences will soon be treated to a version of The Fate of the Furious that is even more action-packed. When the movie is released on Blu-ray and DVD, it will also provide fans with the opportunity to watch the special director's cut, which is 13 minutes longer and, according to F. Gary Gray, is a bit more action heavy and funnier. Stay tuned for more details on that front, and look for the eighth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise everywhere on July 11th.

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