The film Furious 7 opens this weekend, and early projections have the franchise’s latest installment earning over $115 million. After a role in 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious, despite having no formal training as an actor, Furious 7 co-star, Ludacris, has gone on to take roles in the Academy Award-winning film Crash, Hustle & Flow, and on Law & Order. But 2 Fast 2 Furious director John Singleton told Thomas Golianopoulos Luda’s role of Tej was originally written with another rapper in mind.
“Ja got too big for himself,” Singleton told Golianopoulos in a Grantland feature. “He turned it down. He turned down a half a million dollars. He got 15 grand to be in the first movie. He was really big at that time. I guess Murder Inc. was throwing out hits and were making money hand over foot.”
It should be noted that Fast & Furious mainstay Vin Diesel also turned down a role in 2 Fast 2 Furious due to salary demands. Diesel went on to take parts in xXx and Pitch Black, while Ja co-starred in Half Past Dead. Singleton added that Rule refused to return his calls, so Ja’s character Edwin from the original Fast & Furious was scrapped for the role of Tej.
Golianopoulos reported Singleton and Ja remain on good terms and the Queens rapper since apologized for the matter. You can read the full account at Grantland.com.