This Is The Only Fast And Furious Film Without Vin Diesel

The "Fast & Furious" movies have become one of the biggest media franchises in all of Hollywood history, with each new entry garnering more excitement among film fans. Ever since the 2001 release of "The Fast and the Furious," the series has grown to include notable performers such as Dwayne Johnson, Kurt Russell, Helen Mirren, Joe Taslim, Nathalie Emmanuel, Tony Jaa, Gal Gadot, Jason Statham, and Charlize Theron, with directors such as John Singleton, Justin Lin, and James Wan helming individual entries in the series. And as the franchise has grown, so have the action set pieces, from cars racing trucks, to cars combating submarines, and cars parachuting down from planes to intercept convoys on isolated roads.

Through all these changes, however, there has been one mainstay of the franchise — and that's the star, Vin Diesel. The unexpected death of actor Paul Walker in a car crash in 2013 left Diesel as the one consistent performer in the franchise, who has stuck with it through the numerous changes. No matter the locale, the newest obstacle, or the jaw-dropping action required, Diesel's Dominic Toretto has been there to pull things off. 

However, even Diesel has not appeared in every film in the main franchise. There is, rather surprisingly, one film in which he was absent.

Without Vin Diesel, the sequel focused on Paul Walker's Brian

The 2003 film "2 Fast 2 Furious", which was the first direct sequel to "The Fast and the Furious," saw Paul Walker's Brian O'Connor return from the first film, but without Toretto. The two had parted ways in the first film, as Brian had let Toretto escape the authorities in his car in the end. 

Despite being reportedly offered $25 million, Diesel declined the offer to return for the sequel.

That's why "2 Fast 2 Furious" focused instead on Brian, who escapes the authorities in Miami, connecting with a mechanic named Tej Parker, played by Ludacris, to find out about street races. When the cops catch up with him, the FBI offers to clear his criminal record if he helps take down a drug lord named Carter Verone, played by Cole Hauser. Brian agrees on the condition that he can bring onboard his childhood friend Roman Pearce, played by Tyrese Gibson. The duo infiltrate Verone's organization, despite obstacles from the FBI, and find out from an undercover Customs agent named Monica Fuentes, played by Eva Mendes, that their lives are at stake once the next job is done. With the FBI refusing to abort the mission, Brian and Roman team up with Tej to escape the police and catch Verone themselves, culminating in the duo crashing a car into Verone's yacht and shooting him, though not fatally. Fuentes, who was Verone's hostage on the yacht, arrests Verone, and the film ends with both Brian and Roman's criminal records cleared.

Despite Toretto's absence, this film is still a key part of the series, as Fuentes, Roman, and Tej returned for future installments. The next entry in the franchise, "F9", hits US theaters on June 25.