The Rock Needs To Return For Fast & Furious 11 (& Black Adam Proves It)

Black Adam’s box office performance proves that Dwayne Johnson needs to return for Fast & Furious 11 to help himself and the franchise finale.

Dwayne Johnson needs to return for Fast & Furious 11 to help end the franchise and save his status as a box office star after Black Adam. It’s been six years since The Rock last appeared in the main Fast & Furious franchise, and this time apart has not necessarily gone as planned. Johnson used Vin Diesel’s action movies as a stepping stone in his career that allowed him to try and launch new franchises. Black Adam at Warner Bros. and DC is the latest example, and the superhero movie was expected to be a massive hit for The Rock that would prove his value as a leading man with new IPs.

Making Black Adam is something Dwayne Johnson dreamed about even before he joined Fast & Furious. His focus shifted to the superhero franchise once his and Diesel’s feud led to the former WWE star essentially leaving the role of Luke Hobbs behind. While Vin Diesel has pleaded publicly for The Rock to return, he has repeatedly confirmed that Hobbs will not be in Fast X. His potential involvement in its sequel and self-described franchise finale is doubtful too. However, Black Adam proves that Dwayne Johnson needs to return for Fast & Furious 11 in a move that would be mutually beneficial.

Black Adam Is The Latest Dwayne Johnson Movie To Struggle At The Box Office

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Dwayne Johnson’s return for Fast & Furious 11 would come after The Rock’s movies started to struggle at the box office, a trend that Black Adam continued. The movie made $392 million worldwide after its release in October 2022. That was below public expectations, especially after Black Adam‘s strong opening weekend. The film ended 2022 as the 14th highest grossing movie worldwide and 11th domestically. The $392M haul is not horrible for a potential franchise starter, but it is underwhelming thanks to the film’s budget (reportedly between $190M-$260M). The end result was reports in the press about Black Adam losing money, which The Rock then tried to deny.

Black Adam‘s box office performance puts it in league with some of Dwayne Johnson’s other movie flops outside the Fast & Furious franchise. He famously starred in Warner Bros.’ Baywatch reboot, which performed poorly across the board. His other recent miss came with Disney’s Jungle Cruise, which only made $210M worldwide. To be fair, the movie was released at a poor time for the box office and was simultaneously available on Disney+ through Premiere Access. His DC League of Super-Pets also did not perform as well as hoped, making $204M worldwide at a time when Minions: Rise of Gru dominated.

Dwayne Johnson Needs Big Blockbusters (Not More Streaming Films)

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Big action blockbusters like Fast & Furious have long been critical to Dwayne Johnson’s success. However, Black Adam‘s box office performance made it easy for new DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran to move on and scrap any plans The Rock had for sequels or spinoffs. A Fast & Furious 11 role for Dwayne Johnson would be an opportunity to get himself back involved with a blockbuster franchise that consistently hits. While he has found some success with single movies, Jumanji is the only other theatrical blockbuster franchise that The Rock has. Fast & Furious 11 can give him more if he returns.

This would also allow Dwayne Johnson to pivot back to being a major box office star instead of headlining streaming films. The Rock’s popularity has translated to him developing multiple potential franchise starters for streaming services. He successfully turned Red Notice into a Netflix franchise with two sequels in development, while Prime Video’s Christmas franchise play Red could be another. These movies might give The Rock significant paydays, but they often lack the sustained success and cultural impact that theatrical blockbusters can have. Dwayne Johnson needs more blockbusters to break his box office cold streak. More streaming films make that trend more likely to continue.

Fast & Furious 11 Needs The Rock’s Hobbs To End The Franchise Right

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Fast & Furious 11 being Dwayne Johnson’s return as Luke Hobbs would not only benefit The Rock. It has been reported that Fast & Furious 11 is the final entry in the main franchise, meaning it could be the last time Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto, Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty, and others who have been around since early on are seen. Although Dwayne Johnson did not debut as Hobbs until Fast Five, there is no debate that he was instrumental to the franchise’s success and storytelling. His antagonistic introduction paved the way for The Rock and Diesel’s characters to eventually team up before going their separate ways again.

The Rock not returning for F9 or Fast X is a direct reaction to his and Diesel’s real-life feud, but that cannot get in the way of Hobbs returning in Fast & Furious 11. The movie cannot be a proper ending to the main franchise without Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel’s characters reuniting on screen. It would be like Avengers: Endgame ending without Iron Man and Captain America reuniting. Audiences deserve a chance to get one more team-up between Hobbs and Dom, especially when the stakes will surely be more significant than ever. This reunion would help ensure the franchise’s most prominent characters are part of the finale.

Dwayne Johnson’s Fast & Furious 11 return would also be a chance for the franchise finale to get a boost at the box office. Despite the struggles that Black Adam and some of The Rock’s movies have had, Fast & Furious has repeatedly benefited from his involvement. The last time he and Diesel starred in a film together, The Fate of the Furious made $1.2 billion worldwide. Once the two stars effectively split the franchise in half; Hobbs & Shaw made $760M with The Rock, and F9 made $726M (during the pandemic) with Diesel. Bringing their collective fanbases together can help Fast & Furious 11 succeed at the box office.

Returning for Fast & Furious 11 would potentially help re-establish Dwayne Johnson’s status as a major box office draw. But the movie could also do much more for his career than that. It would be an opportunity for one of Hollywood’s most influential stars to take a step back in a sense. Any Fast & Furious return for The Rock would come after ending the public feud with Vin Diesel and other cast members. This would undoubtedly be a moment where Johnson could come out as the bigger man and agree to work through their differences so he can give the Fast & Furious franchise a sought-after reunion.

Furthermore, The Rock’s Fast & Furious return could help show that he does not always need to be the lead of a project. Dwayne Johnson rarely does movies where he is not the lead hero or villain. This is understandable on some level, but there could be more opportunities for The Rock if he were willing to play second-fiddle every once and a while. A smaller role could even help him not worry about the bigger picture or force the franchise to set up Hobbs & Shaw 2 and instead focus on making Fast & Furious 11 reach its potential.



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