Jason Statham has been a valuable and recurring character in the Fast & Furious franchise, depicting an MI6 agent-turned-anti-hero in the film series. A leading action figure, Statham played the role of Deckard Shaw in five Fast & Furious movies, including the 2019 spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw, which he led along with Dwayne Johnson.
However, if it wouldn’t have been for a crammed schedule, Statham would’ve probably ended up as Deckard Shaw’s brother in the movies instead.
Fast & Furious – Jason Statham Was Originally Offered Owen Shaw’s Role
Justin Lin’s Fast & Furious 6 introduced fans to Owen Shaw as the primary antagonist of the action venture. A mercenary for hire who formerly used to serve as a Major in the Special Air Service and a Special Ops soldier, Owen G. Shaw is a highly skilled criminal out for the blood of Vin Diesel‘s Dominic Toretto and his crew. Portrayed by Luke Evans, he’s the younger brother of Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw.
Evans’ role, however, had initially been presented to Jason Statham to take over in Fast & Furious 6. But the latter already had his hands full with another action/thriller that was to hit cinemas the same year as the Paul Walker blockbuster. Parker, directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Jennifer Lopez beside Statham, made it impossible for the 55-year-old to take up the offer, as tantalizing as it might’ve been.
Diesel, 55, however, had been keen on collaborating with The Transporter star and the latter too reciprocated the same feeling. So, the pair managed to come to a middle ground and thanks to Diesel’s authority as a co-producer, he was able to bring in Statham as Deckard Shaw in a cameo toward the end of the 2013 movie. Owen Shaw was thus ultimately played by the Murder Mystery star.
Jason Statham to Return for Fast X
2019’s Hobbs & Shaw was the last Fast & Furious project that Statham appeared in, but fans will be seeing more of the gritty anti-hero in the forthcoming Fast X.
However, while his fan-favorite character is set to return with the tenth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, there’s been some controversy surrounding Statham’s reprisal of the role in light of The Rock v. Diesel feud.
When conflict brewed between the former wrestling icon and the Guardians of the Galaxy star, Statham opted for a neutral stance, refusing to pick any sides and further aggravate the already heated situation. But with The Meg star coming back for Fast X, fans seem to be viewing it as an act of betrayal against Johnson.
Not only is Statham good friends with Johnson, but he also thoroughly enjoyed joining forces with the latter, claiming the 51-year-old to be a “diamond to work with.” So, it doesn’t help that he went ahead to work in a film that doesn’t just star Diesel but is also produced by him. But then again, it’s more of a calculated professional move on Statham’s part than a personal dig at The Rock. After all, you gotta do what you gotta do to bring in the big bucks.
Fast X hits theatres on May 19, 2023.