With “Hobbs & Shaw,” the latest spinoff of the “Fast & Furious” franchise, in theaters this weekend, the Wall Street Journal takes a closer look at the film’s challenging choreography. According to this latest report, franchise stars Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, and Vin Diesel (who isn’t featured in this ninth entry of the action tentpole series) all negotiated special arrangements with producers for their fight scenes.
Amid an off-set battle of dueling machismos, apparently Diesel suggested to assign numerical values to every move to determine if everyone was getting pummeled equally. When asked if vanity plays a role, producer Michael Fottrell said, “No comment. Of course it does!”
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“Mr. Diesel’s points plan was eventually abandoned once everyone decided it was too complicated, according to a person present who worked with the star, but it was an example of the delicate balance that must be reached on every set the men are on,” the WSJ reported.
The idea behind the fight scenes is that everyone is choreographed to such a degree that no one comes out looking like a sore loser. According to sources close to the films, Jason Statham, at 51, brokered a deal with Universal Pictures to put a cap on how badly he can be beaten up in the films. Meanwhile, Vin Diesel has his sister, Samantha Vincent, who produces the films, policing just how many punches he gets. Diesel will feature in the next “Fast & Furious” film.
Vanity Fair previously detailed the offscreen beef between the two alpha male stars. “When you watch this movie next April and it seems like I’m not acting in some of these scenes and my blood is legit boiling — you’re right,” Johnson said.
According to the report, Statham likes to survey his fight scenes during the edit. “It’s like that old trope where an actor comes in and wants more close-ups,” said a source. “They want more muscles.” The film boasts body slams, roundhouse kicks, head butts, and all manner of physical combat.
Directed by David Leitch and written by Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce, “Hobbs & Shaw” was a hit at the box office this weekend, nabbing more than $60 million and taking the number one spot. Check out IndieWire’s review of the film here.