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Dwayne Johnson's New Movie Red Notice Took A Jab At Vin Diesel

Dwayne Johnson has been going from strength to strength in recent years, and his newest movie, the comedic action film "Red Notice," very much continues the trend. The Netflix original film pairs Johnson with fellow A-listers Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds, and its very first day shattered a stunning Netflix record when it became the biggest movie premiere in the streaming platform's history. 

Despite his considerable successes, however, it hasn't been all fun and games for Johnson. He has been involved in a periodically emerging, heavily rumored feud with Vin Diesel since around 2016, and the two "Fast & Furious" franchise co-stars have been trading occasional, semi-veiled barbs over the years. The most recent turn in this particular rivalry came in November 7, when an Instagram post by Diesel implored Johnson — who is nowhere to be seen in 2021's "F9" — to return for the grand finale of the series. "Hobbs can't be played by no other," the lengthy post concluded. "I hope that you rise to the occasion and fulfill your destiny."

As for Johnson, some suspect that his feelings about the "Fast & Furious" lead might be on full display in his latest movie. Here's the jab "Red Notice" took at Vin Diesel.

A catty joke at Diesel's expense

The Vin Diesel-themed "Red Notice" joke happens during a conversation between Dwayne Johnson's John Hartley and Ryan Reynolds' Nolan Booth. Hartley asks, "Know what I think is funny, Booth?" Booth promptly responds: "Vin Diesel's audition tape for 'Cats'? It exists." This, of course, is a reference to Tom Hooper's CGI-heavy and nigh-universally derided 2019 movie version of "Cats," which currently holds a meager 20 percent critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The mental image of Diesel auditioning for the role of a singing CGI cat is certainly ... intriguing, and it may be hard to believe that the joke ended up in a Dwayne Johnson movie by a complete accident. As such, it has been noted by outlets like Newsweek and People

To be fair, though, Johnson himself has stated that while he totally gets the inclusion of the Vin Diesel joke, he's not personally behind it. In an interview with "The Jess Cagle Show" (via YouTube), The star expanded on how the line ended up in the movie.

"People were asking me about that and they just, they find a way, and you know, what's interesting is, you know, these Vin Diesel jokes, which play great by the way to the audience, which is always a good thing ... because it's really, it's all about them," Johnson said. "But, people think these jokes come from me and they actually don't. I mean, you'd be surprised at how many people come to me with 'I got a great one.' I'm like 'okay.' 'I got another great Vin Diesel joke.' 'I'm sure you do.' Always funny."