Paul Walker versus Vin Diesel: who’s the man? It’s funny, but way back when the Fast and Furious franchise first hit the silver screen the world was quite a different place. It may interest Paul Walker fans to know that Vin Diesel took it for granted that he was going to be the biggest star to shine coming out of Fast and Furious movie stardom.
Everybody knows there is a tendency with music groups and movie actors, especially in the face of a big hit, to single out one performer as the biggest star-to-be from the whole bunch. Vin Diesel thought it was going to be Vin Diesel. In fact, when he was approached to sign on for 2 Fast and 2 Furious Vin Diesel made a big deal out of saying ‘No’.
He seemed like a big stud at the time. He was great in his early performances. Just Boiler Room and Fast and Furious alone would probably have sealed his name as a Hollywood star. However, immediately after Fast and Furious no one knew what the future would hold. Vin Diesel did not want to get stuck or pigeon-holed.
They say the worst thing for a Hollywood actor is to be typecast by a role so that they really have no career outside the role. This is seen as disaster by most wannabe talent. It must be hard to be rich and famous, and still not have it all quite work out exactly they way you want.
Anyway, Vin Diesel made a big deal out of announcing that he was turning down 2 Fast and 2 Furious and that he was looking forward to a Hollywood career that was destined to include many and varied performances, each one earning him the undying love of an ever-growing legion of fans. We imagined he would win Oscars and other coveted awards, and be starring in numerous big hit movies.
Yes, Vin Diesel was going to be the man. If anybody had told Vin at that point in time that one day he would be riding into the Fast and Furious 7 movie set on the coattails of one Paul Walker, he would have balked. Vin Diesel thought he was too good for the Fast and Furious movies.
He thought he was too good to be faithful to a movie franchise that had catapulted him into even bigger stardom. He thought he was too good to hold down the fort in one Fast and Furious movie after another. It was his enlightened entertainment acumen that allowed him to forestall his worst dreams coming true: Fast and Furious 3,999,332, starring Old Man Vinnie Diesel, coming to a theater near you, oh boy.
That would never happen.
So, what did happen?
Well, Paul Walker went on to star in many notable movie roles, as well as attaining several other noteworthy accomplishments. He starred in Joy Ride, Into the Blue, Timeline, Flags of Our Fathers, Running Scared, Eight Below, The Lazarus Project, numerous Fast and Furious movies, Takers, and several films still due for release.
And what happened to Vin Diesel?
He is probably still best known for Boiler Room, The Chronicles of Riddick trilogy, and The Fast and the Furious film series. He ended up appearing in all but the second and third installments of the series. He was in xXx and Find Me Guilty. He has also done some voice acting.
Strange how things happen in life, and even stranger how they happen in Hollywood. Paul Walker never tried too hard to look like a big star. He never turned down the Fast and Furious franchise when they offered to work with him. All the Fast and Furious movies have made money. For example, the fourth movie in the franchise made over $59 million in DVD sales alone. The entire series of Fast and Furious movies has grossed over $2.3 billion making it the single most profitable movie franchise in Universal Studios history.
Paul Walker is the one who remained faithful to the Fast and Furious franchise through thick and thin. He is the one who held down the fort. He is the one who was never too good to work in the Fast and Furious movies.
Now he is being sited like Elvis, mourned like James Dean, and guess what old man will be starring in Fast and Furious 7, as he rides into the scene on Paul Walker’s coattails? That’s right, folks, the verdict is in: Paul Walker is the man.
By: Alex Durig, Ph.D.