The reported salary Vin Diesel received for Fast X perfectly reflects the evolution of the franchise, both in terms of Diesel’s role and the scope of the films. Since the franchise’s humble beginnings, Vin Diesel’s announced salary for the upcoming film Fast X exemplifies the drastic evolution of the franchise. Due in no small part to his role in the Fast and Furious franchise, Vin Diesel is one of the biggest and most recognizable working action stars in the world today. Dominic Toretto has helped shape the Fast Saga, thereby solidifying Vin Diesel’s position as one of Hollywood’s most successful actors. Over the course of the Fast and Furious films, Dom Toretto and the franchise’s emphasis have evolved significantly.
The first installment of the franchise, 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, was a tightly-written action drama, but subsequent installments have shifted away from that format in favor of a greater emphasis on massive action set pieces and high-octane heists. Whether this shift influenced the transformation of Diesel’s character or whether it was the other way around, it is undeniable that the Fast and Furious films have evolved significantly since the franchise’s inception. This substantial change makes the upcoming Fast X – the tenth installment in the franchise – a very different animal from Dominic Toretto’s first appearance.
Vin Diesel’s reported Fast X salary of $20 million, which is 10 times his salary for The Fast and the Furious, makes this change all the more apparent. This not only demonstrates how Fast and Furious has expanded in scope and budget alongside its success, but also how Vin Diesel’s role within the franchise has evolved. Along the way, Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto has become the sole star of the franchise, with the rest of the cast existing somewhat in his shadow, and this is reflected in the actor’s enormous pay raise.
However, not all of the Fast & Furious franchise’s changes were deliberate. Diesel was one of two leads in the first film, alongside Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner, and when he opted not to return for 2 Fast 2 Furious, Walker assumed the role. In the third installment of the series, Tokyo Drift, Vin Diesel made a cameo appearance, but Walker was nowhere to be found. It wasn’t until Walker and Diesel returned for the fourth film, Fast & Furious, that they regained their status as the undisputed franchise leads. However, Paul Walker’s tragic death thrust Vin Diesel’s character even further into the limelight, making him the franchise’s unofficial leader.
The franchise has moved into Toretto-led action mayhem as a result of a combination of real-life tragedy and subtle but successful narrative trends. The more grounded drama of the first film was replaced by spectacular stunts and thrilling heists, making the Fast and Furious films enormous action blockbusters. This fits Vin Diesel’s image, as the actor has adopted the mythical transformation of Dominic Toretto as part of his own public persona. Vin Diesel’s additional role in the Fast and Furious franchise is the final factor contributing to his salary increase. Since the fourth installment of the franchise, Diesel has also served as a producer for the Fast and Furious films, expanding his role off-screen. All of these factors combine to make the Fast and Furious franchise uniquely Vin Diesel’s, with the actor’s salary for Fast X reflecting both his significance and the franchise’s larger scale and success.