Why Ja Rule Left Fast and Furious.The Fast and Furious movies are staples of the summer blockbuster lineup. They have huge action sequences, plenty of drama, and, of course, a long list of A-list stars.
One surprising cast member was Ja Rule, most famous for his rap career that took off in the early 2000s. However, fans were left scratching their heads after Ja Rule announced he was leaving the franchise.
Why did he step away from a franchise that was shifting gears for even greater success? Let’s dive deep into the behind-the-scenes drama and uncover the real reason why Ja Rule turned down the opportunity to be a more integral part of the Fast and Furious legacy.
Why Did Ja Rule Leave Fast And Furious?
Ja Rule left the Fast and Furious franchise due to scheduling conflicts and because he didn’t think the movies were a good fit for his Hollywood goals.
The filmmakers offered Ja Rule $500,000 to return for the sequel, but the rapper turned the role down. In a recent interview with Insider, Ja Rule explains that taking the role didn’t make much financial sense.
“I was probably the biggest artist in the rap game,” he explained. “I’ll propose this to you: I’m John Singleton. I’m gonna offer you $500,000 to shoot a movie for three months.
“Or I’m going on a tour and I’m gonna make close to $15 million in the span of less than two months. Well, what you doing?”
John Singleton, the director of 2 Fast 2 Furious, claims Ja Rule “got too big for himself” to return.
But it wasn’t just about the money, according to Ja Rule. In 2002, he told MTV that the film didn’t feel like the right project for him.
He said the filmmakers had even promoted his character to a starring role. But it just wasn’t the direction in which he wanted to go.
The rapper even spoke to Vin Diesel about it, since he also turned down the sequel. Ja Rule said that he wanted to “do this acting thing very seriously,” and that sometimes not “every movie is the right movie.”
He was also touring at the time when filming would take place. On top of that, he was busy with another film, Half Past Dead, as well.
Who Did Ja Rule Play In The Fast And The Furious?
Ja Rule played Edwin in The Fast and The Furious; he lost a street race to Dom and Brian (Vin Diesel and Paul Walker).
Edwin was a pretty minor character in the first Fast and Furious movie. He only appeared in one scene in which he races against the main characters, Dom and Brian.
Edwin taunts Brian before the race and is overly confident. When he eventually loses to both Brian and Dom, a woman in the crowd rejects his advances, adding to his humiliation.
Afterwards, he leaves in defeat, and never returns for the rest of the movie – or the series.
Who Replaced Ja Rule In Fast And Furious?
Ja Rule’s character, Edwin, wasn’t recast in the Fast and Furious series, but his role was taken over by Ludacris’s character, Tej.
2 Fast 2 Furious gave Edwin a bigger role in which he redeemed himself after losing to Brian.
When Ja Rule turned down director John Singleton’s offer to reprise the role, Singelton looked elsewhere – and found Ludacris. He would play a new character named Tej Parker.
The scriptwriters removed Edwin’s character and replaced him with Tej, a former street racer with a lot of technical know-how.
Ludacris has gone on to play Tej in seven out of the last nine Fast and Furious movies (not counting the spin-off Hobbes and Shaw).
Will Ja Rule Return To Fast And Furious?
There has been no confirmation that Ja Rule will ever return to the Fast and Furious franchise.
The series is famous – or infamous – for bringing back characters, though, even after they supposedly die.
Possibly the most notable example is Sung Kang’s character Han, who was killed in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
The writers even reorganized the timeline in order to bring Han back. Tokyo Drift is the third Fast and Furious movie released, but chronologically it takes place between the sixth and seventh movies.
Even more surprising is that once the other movies catch back up to Tokyo Drift, Han is still part of the series, since it’s revealed his death had been faked in that movie.
But it’s doubtful Ja Rule will experience a similar return to the Fast and Furious universe.
Ja Rule told Insider that he has no regrets over not returning to the franchise. He expresses gratitude for the success he’s found elsewhere and seems to have no intention of ever returning to the series.
In fact, he’s been focusing much more on his rap career in recent years. He appeared in one episode of the 2022 show Tales, but prior to that, his last acting role was providing a voice in a 2016 animated movie called Trollz.