“I was always an outsider”: Suicide Squad Director David Ayer Claims $7.3B Dwayne Johnson Franchise Owes Him Everything After Vin Diesel Left Him in the Dust
The Fast & Furious franchise has come a long way since the first film hit the big screen back in the early 2000s. While the movies have evolved into loud action blockbusters like any other major Hollywood franchise, also becoming one of the most profitable IPs in Hollywood, it might not have come so far if it wasn’t for David Ayer’s involvement.
Responsible for making Suicide Squad and Fury, David Ayer played a prominent role in the success of the first Fast & Furious movie, however, the director alleged that he never got the recognition he deserved.
David Ayer’s Notable Contribution Helped Shape the Fast & Furious Franchise
Unlike the recent releases in the Fast & Furious franchise, the initial releases revolved around illegal street racing with pretty grounded themes. And while the saga has moved away from its initial roots to cater to a larger demographic by delving into family and loyalty, the first entry still holds a special place in fans’ hearts, as it kickstarted one of the biggest Hollywood franchises to date.
The Fast and the Furious (2001)However, things would’ve been much different if it wasn’t for David Ayer, who was brought to work on the script after Gary Scott Thompson and Erik Bergquist wrote its previous drafts. Considering no one had any idea about how illegal street racing worked at the time, Ayer began his own research and grounded the premise in reality, eventually shaping the story we witnessed. In an episode of Real Ones with Jon Bernthal, Ayer recalled,
“When I got that script, that sh*t was set in New York, it was all Italian kids, right? I’m like, ‘Bro, I’m not gonna take it unless I can set it in L.A. and make it look like the people I know in L.A., right?’ So then I started, like, writing in people of color, and writing in the street stuff, and writing in the culture, and no one knew sh*t about street racing at the time.”
Unfortunately, the Suicide Squad director expressed that he has nothing to show for his work in crafting this humungous franchise, implying Vin Diesel and other screenwriters took the spotlight.
Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto
David Ayer Claimed He Didn’t Get the Deserved Recognition
Reflecting on the matter, David Ayer felt that the franchise left him in the dust because he was an “outsider”, as he avoided socializing and going to the parties, claiming the ones who did “were able to control and manage narratives”. Ayer explained,
“Biggest franchise in Hollywood, and I don’t have any of it. I got nothing to show for it, nothing, because of the way the business works… It’s like people hijack narratives, control narratives, create narratives to empower themselves, right? And because I was always an outsider…”
While the franchise took a prominent turn with the entry of Dwayne Johnson’s Fast Five, the earlier entries, especially the first one remain an entertaining watch, following its vast difference from the recent releases.
The Fast and the Furious is available to stream on Apple TV.