Imagine a Fast & Furious franchise without Vin Diesel. Impossible, right?
It’s safe to say that the star has made the role of Dominic Toretto his own, but things could have been very, very different – because he wasn’t first choice to play the leading character.
Neil H. Moritz, a producer on the popular franchise, revealed that it was none other than Timothy Olyphant who was approached first when they were making 2001 film The Fast and the Furious.
Olyphant would go on to star in Deadwood and Justified, but back then he turned the part down.
“I had been working with Paul Walker on another movie Skulls, and I gave him the script [for The Fast and the Furious],” Moritz recalled on the Bill Simmons podcast.
“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.”
We’re curious, too.
On the other hand, if Olyphant had taken that role of Dom, we wouldn’t have the awesome Raylan Givens.