The real reason why 'Fast and Furious' replaced Ja Rule with Ludacris.
The 'Fast and Furious' franchise is one of the most profitable movie series in recent histry and since its opening in March, Furious 7 has brought home over $400 million in box offices worldwide.
It seems that most actors in Hollywood would do anything to join the franchise. However, one particular actor chose to pass up the opportunity to be involved in the project. That person was rapper Ja Rule.
If you can think back to the original 'The Fast and the Furious' movie, Ja Rule was a major character in the series.
So why did the rapper choose not to return for the second installment of the 'Fast and Furious' franchise?
According to an interview with the director of 2 Fast 2 Furious, Singleton claimed that Ja Rule refused to take part because he felt that he was "too big" for the film, even declining the offer of $500,000 for a small role. He said:
"Ja got too big for himself [...> He turned it down. He turned down a half a million dollars. He got 15 grand to be in the first movie."
The director points out that at the time, Ja Rule was one of the biggest hip hop artists and the rapper chose to pursue music over acting.
"I guess Murder Inc. was throwing out hits and were making money hand over foot. He was acting like he was too big to be in the sequel. He wouldn’t return calls. I went to the studio to go see him — that’s just my mantra, I deal with a lot of music people. He was kinda playing me to the side and I was like, 'What? What is this s**t?'”
Even though he was offered a role in 2 Fast 2 Furious, the negotiations later fell apart and he dropped out of the film.
Ja Rule later commented on leaving the franchise in 2002, and he said he had his own reasons for leaving the series:
"I just felt it wasn’t the best move for me as far as what I want to do in Hollywood right now. I’m really trying to do this acting thing very seriously. And you know, sometimes every move is not the right move.”
But, Ja Role not doing 2 Fast 2 Furious it changed Ludacris's life forever.
Singleton reveals further:
"That's how Ludacris got in '2 Fast 2 Furious' [as Tej Parker] and the rest is history."
So far, Ludacris hasn't made a comment on Singleton's comments but, he is extremely excited about working on the 'Fast and Furious' franchise. Take a look at a the short interview below, in which he reiterates how being in the 'Fast and Furious' franchise is "everything" to him:
Ultimately, Ja Rule helped Ludacris to get where he is today and since then he humbly apologized to Singleton for the ruckus he caused not accepting the sequel role. The director pointed out that:
“Years later I saw Ja Rule at the Source Awards and we joked about it. I took him under my arm and said, ‘Man, when I call you, you listen. I ain’t calling you for no bullshit.’ He said, ‘Yeah, man, I’m sorry about that.’ He apologized. I love Ja. I still think Ja has a lot of personality and can come back in a different way.”
One man's trash is another man's treasure. I guess the moral of the story is don't get too big for your britches.