The Fast and Furious franchise may not be perceived as highbrow cinema, but dismissing it as unsophisticated would be a mistake. In truth, delving into the intricacies of Vin Diesel’s automotive saga demands a certain level of attentiveness.
John Cena, upon joining the Fast and Furious ensemble for the ninth instalment in 2021, found himself thrust into a significant role. He portrayed Jakob, the long-lost brother of Diesel’s central character, Dom Toretto. As the narrative progressed, Cena’s character underwent a transformation from antagonist to protagonist, a transition emblematic of the dynamic nature of the Fast-verse.
The revelation of Jakob’s true identity was a closely guarded secret during filming, prompting Cena to exercise extreme caution in concealing a pivotal aspect of his costume: the unmistakably Toretto-esque crucifix necklace. For long-time viewers of the Fast and Furious series, this necklace is emblematic of Toretto’s DNA.
During an interview with Digital Spy, while promoting F9 in 2021, Cena disclosed the meticulous measures he had to take when wearing the necklace in locations where candid photographs or paparazzi shots could potentially leak the revelation prematurely.
“After every take, take it off, hide it, give it to someone. The costumes are the costumes and they can be whatever you needed it to be, but if there was ever a candid with a coffee in my hand and the cross, that’s a dead giveaway,” Cena explained. “It’s amazing that that one piece of jewellery has so much energy and gravity around it. That was the one thing I put on before they said roll and as soon as they said cut, I would take it off, and that was how we kept everything under wraps.”
It’s commendable to witness the dedication put forth by the creators of the Fast franchise in safeguarding their most significant plotlines. Jakob’s connection to one of the franchise’s standout characters was a pivotal focal point in F9, and the deliberate withholding of this crucial information until the opportune moment heightened the impact.
In Fast X, Jakob’s return as part of the team brought about a shift in his character, allowing Cena to leverage his comedic prowess and inject a playful twist into his portrayal of the formidable vehicular specialist. Despite the outcome of that particular film, fans are hopeful for Jakob’s potential reappearance in future instalments.