Imagine, if you will, a reality where it was not Vin Diesel who fronted The Fast and the Furious opposite Paul Walker. Imagine it was Timothy Olyphant as Dominic Toretto, the car-racing outlaw who always puts family first. What would that timeline even look like? Would Diesel have become an action star? Would Fast and Furious have become a world-conquering franchise that blended soap opera plot twists with big stars and beyond bonkers action scenes? Would Han still have died?
While we might wonder about this world that could have been, Olyphant’s not bothered. On Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, he coolly recounted why he turned down the role that could have put him and one of Hollywood’s biggest franchises on a totally different road.
i was today years old when i learned timothy olyphant could have been vin diesel in the fast & furious movies?? https://t.co/ItE9xvPPaS— Angie J. Han (@ajhan) April 30, 2019
“With me, I thought, ‘Well, this will just be stupid,” Olyphant said, “And I thought, ‘No one’s going to want to see this movie eight or nine different times.’ I mean by the third or fourth sequel, people are definitely going to get bored of it.”
And yes. This clip is from 2018. But I’m with friend of Pajiba/Mashable deputy entertainment editor Angie Han. I did NOT know this was a thing. I don’t know how we missed anything concerning our beloved silver fox. But here we are! And speaking for myself, I am not totally sure how to feel about it! I want all the Olyphant the world will give me. But Diesel’s gruff teddy bear appeal is so central to the success of Fast and the Furious that it’s impossible to imagine those movies without him. And besides, if Olyphant had said yes to playing Toretto, what would that have meant for his career? Would he have been available to play the crazy-eyed lawman Seth Bullock on Deadwood? Because if not…this might not be our darkest timeline after all. We could have existed in a world without this.
We could have existed in a world without the wild perfection of A Perfect Getaway, without the brooding splendor of Justified, without the Daddy Joel delights of Santa Clarita Diet! Oh no. Truly, some time heists are not worth pulling.
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