Vin Diesel has built his entire career on starring in franchises, and he seems pretty happy to do so for as long as he can. As well as playing Dominic Toretto in eight of the nine Fast and Furious movies, along with 2011 short film Los Bandoleros that he also wrote and directed, the 52 year-old has also donned Richard B. Riddick’s goggles for three features, one short, an animated spinoff and two video games, headlined two-thirds of the XXX series as Xander Cage and voiced Groot for two Guardians of the Galaxy flicks, two Avengers and Ralph Breaks the Internet.
The gravel-throated action star seems content to keep reprising the same roles as long as the fans are onboard, a career decision that is no doubt partly motivated by the fact that a lot of his non-franchise efforts don’t tend to fare so well with critics or at the box office. In fact, you’d have to go back over 20 years to find the last time that Diesel made three movies in a row where he didn’t play one of the characters listed above.
One of his more recent efforts was 2015’s The Last Witch Hunter, which was clearly designed with the intention of launching yet another Diesel-led franchise, but suffered from largely negative reviews and failed to crack $150 million globally, a poor showing for a project with a reported $90 million budget. However, in a recent interview, the actor revealed that a sequel is officially in the works, despite the commercial disappointment that greeted the first installment.
“When a Last Witch Hunter comes out and it doesn’t destroy the box office you, under the old thinking, would go, ‘Well, maybe I should focus on something else’. But nowadays, what’s fascinating is that movies find you somehow… When people tell me that they love Witch Hunter, and they want to see Michael Caine and I go into another one, I go, ‘Wow!’. Lionsgate is coming and saying, ‘We’re putting a writer on for the next one… And this is just recent, by the way. But it’s funny that you mentioned Last Witch Hunter because I’m in a meeting with Lionsgate, and they’re actively creating the sequel to The Last Witch Hunter.”
A lot of people have probably forgotten that The Last Witch Hunter even existed, so it sounds surprising that Lionsgate seem so keen to get started on a follow-up, although maybe the fantasy blockbuster has a vocal fanbase that nobody knows about. In any case, Vin Diesel has already laughed in the face of the Coronavirus, so it isn’t surprising to hear that he’s getting started on a sequel to a movie that audiences aren’t exactly actively demanding.