The Fast & Furious movies are all about family, but Vin Diesel is very serious about controlling who is and is not a part of that family. Rita Moreno? Brie Larson? Scott Eastwood? Pull up a chair, grab a Corona. Welcome to the familia. But Dwayne Johnson? You can stand and drink something else until you have atoned for your sins. And now we have another name to add to the list of people who are doomed to be left out in the cold, unable to join the familia at the pre-credits barbecue at the end of the movie: Jean-Claude Van Damme.
That’s what Van Damme said in a recent interview with The Telegraph, at least, noting that “they” wanted him in a Fast & Furious movie but that Vin Diesel apparently said, “No, I don’t want him.” That, sadly, is the extent of the anecdote, meaning we don’t have any idea what movie this would’ve been for or what kind of character Van Damme could’ve played, but it probably would’ve been one of the more recent entries, where Diesel really started to control everything that happened (or at least that’s the impression that every single behind-the-scenes story gives off).
Could he have been Dom’s brother? He would make the same amount of sense as John Cena. How about the villainous Cipher? Van Damme could pull off Charlize Theron’s weird bowl cut in whichever movie that was. He wouldn’t make a ton of sense replacing Kurt Russell as Mr. Nobody, since he has more of a “Belgian martial artist” vibe than an “American government agent” vibe, but these movies aren’t big on simple logic.
He really could’ve played any character at any point in this series, and he probably should have played at least one by now. Have we ever met Brian’s parents? Jean-Claude Van Damme could come in as Mr. O’Connor, a retired police officer or something who taught Paul Walker’s character everything he knows about saving the world, and Dom and Mia have to track him down to help do whatever in the next movie.