In 2001, The Fast and the Furious roared into theaters and kicked off what would be a mega franchise still going strong 16 years later. At this point, most of us can’t picture anyone else playing the franchise’s main characters, in particular, Dominic Toretto, who is played by Vin Diesel. However, Diesel wasn’t the studios’ first pick for the role and, in fact, the part was originally offered to Justified‘s Timothy Olyphant.
Producer Neil H. Moritz spoke about the franchise’s original choice for Dom.
“I had been working with Paul Walker on another movie, Skulls, and I gave him the script [for The Fast and the Furious],” Moritz said. “Rob Cohen, who I had made The Rat Pack with, we gave him the script. The two of them liked the idea. And then we had to look for Dom Toretto. The studio said, ‘If you can get Timothy Olyphant to play that role we will greenlight the movie… The luckiest thing that ever happened to us is Tim Olyphant turned us down. He’s a great actor. In fact, I’m curious to see what that movie would have been.”
When Olyphant turned down the role, Mortiz thought of Diesel, whose career was just blossoming thanks to roles in Saving Private Ryan and Pitch Black.
“I went and met him at Kate Mantilini [restaurant] and he wasn’t a star yet, but the great thing about Vin is he always believed he was a star,” Moritz said. “And I was going in there to think he’s coming to me to want the role and I’m the one there now having to convince him to do the role! Lucky for both of us that happened. And then we started to make the movie.”
So what do you think? At this point is it pretty much impossible to picture anyone else other than Vin Diesel playing Dom?
At any rate, you’ll be seeing Diesel reprise his role as Dominic Toretto this Friday as The Fate of the Furious speeds into theaters.
The Fate of the Furious stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Chris Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Natalie Emmanuel, Lucas Black, Kristofer Hijvu, with Kurt Russel, Charlize Theron, and Helen Mirren.
The Fate of the Furious hits theaters this Friday, April 14.
Source: Entertainment Weekly