Fast & Furious | Jean Claude Van Damme claims Vin Diesel vetoed his casting

Fast and Furious 9, which doesn't star Jean Claude Van Damme but did have a stunt
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Jean-Claude Van Damme suggests that Vin Diesel is the reason he’s not appeared in the Fast & Furious saga.

For a while, it seemed that The Expendables saga was where action stars went for a reunion. But over time, it’s been the Fast & Furious films where they tend to congregate. Vin Diesel has led most films in the franchise, and we’ve seen the likes of Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa all step behind the wheel.

Yet while there’s still a few action stars to put in a call too, one who won’t be getting the nod to appear in a future Fast & Furious film appears to be Jean-Claude Van Damme.

He’s been chatting to The Telegraph in an extensive new interview about his career, with Van Damme doing promotional work for a new beverage that he’s launching. And in the midst of the conversation, the Fast & Furious revelation pops up.

He revealed that he was told “they want me in Fast and Furious”, although exactly which of the films in the prolonged franchise he was targeted for isn’t clear. Why didn’t he appear? “Vin Diesel said ‘no, I don’t want him,” Van Damme claims. Diesel has, it’s believed, power of veto over casting in the films.

Read more: Fast X review | A bludgeoning high-octane pantomime

Vin Diesel, who hasn’t always been at the centre of giving out Christmas cards, hasn’t commented on the story, which makes it a little bit one sided as things stand. Van Damme did, of course, pop up in The Expendables franchise, although not the latest – and what looks like final – chapter in that particular saga, The Expendables 4. Nor will you find Van Damme’s name on the call sheet for whatever Fast X Part 2 ends up being called.

Elsewhere in the interview, Van Damme also talks about being offered $20m to fight Steven Seagal in a Las Vegas match-up. That never happened, either.

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