With his hopes of convincing Dwayne Johnson to return for the two-part "Fast & Furious" finale ever dwindling, star and producer Vin Diesel has seemingly set his sights on the "Avengers: Endgame" star. In an interview with Variety at the Los Angeles trailer premiere of "Fast X" — the upcoming tenth mainline entry that is adding Jason Momoa ("Aquaman"), Brie Larson ("Captain Marvel"), and Rita Moreno ("One Day at a Time") to its ever-expanding and unkillable ensemble — the 55-year-old actor was asked who he would want to see in the next entry of the long-running franchise that has somehow gone from its humble roots of street racing drama to repeated saving-the-world antics.

Diesel took a beat, then looked straight at the camera and said: "Robert Downey Jr." Will that actually happen? Who knows. After all, Diesel asked Johnson to "show up" for Fast X, going so far as to put up a long post on his Instagram back in late 2021 that brought up his children, the late Paul Walker, and that Johnson had a "very important role to play." But the "Black Adam" and "Hobbs & Shaw" star declined Diesel's offer publicly and said, "there was no chance [he] would return." He added: "Vin's recent public post was an example of his manipulation. I didn't like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker's death. Leave them out of it. We had spoken months ago about this and came to a clear understanding."

I imagine someone will soon ask Downey Jr. about Diesel's "Fast & Furious" offer. Meanwhile, the latter even has a character picked out for him.

'At Direct Odds With The Toretto Mentality'

"Without telling you too much about what happens in the future, there's a character who is the antithesis of [Dominic Toretto] who is promoting AI and driverless cars and a philosophy that with that goes your freedom," Vin Diesel told Variety at the "Fast X" trailer premiere. "And there is somebody that believes that's the future, and that's at direct odds with the Toretto mentality."

Diesel isn't the only one trying to manifest a big-name star for the next and final "Fast & Furious" chapter. Michelle Rodriguez — who plays Letty Ortiz-Toretto — wants Matt Damon to join the family. "Matt Damon, would you be in a 'Fast & Furious' movie? C'mon, we got four Oscar winners, man. And you're an Oscar winner!" she told Variety.

While most would see the franchise as brainless action movies, Diesel thinks of it as the "longest love story." As they approach the second chapter of the two-part finale, he's naturally reflecting on the series as a whole. "You know what gets harder? The work off-screen," Diesel said. […] There's a reason ['The Lord of the Rings' author J. R. R.] Tolkien stopped writing after a while. Because it's so hard to continue mythologies. Nobody thinks about it in that context. But it's real."

The "Fast & Furious" mythology expands with "Fast X," rolling into cinemas on May 19, 2023. In addition to Diesel and Rodriguez, the film also stars Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, John Cena, Jason Momoa, Jordana Brewster, Brie Larson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Scott Eastwood, Michael Rooker, Helen Mirren, Cardi B, Rita Moreno, Daniela Melchior, Alan Ritchson, and Charlize Theron.

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