It’s been 20 years since the first movie roared into theaters, introducing the world to Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family of misfits, street racers, and an undercover cop with a heart of motor oil. The franchise nearly looked very different, though. Diesel wasn’t the first choice to play Dom. In fact, it was Deadwood star Timothy Olyphant that could have been the head of the family.
It’s been discussed before, but a new oral history of the first film from is shedding a little light on what could have been. At that time, The Fast and the Furious, which was going to be called Redline, was set in New York City, rather than the Los Angeles the Toretto family calls home.
“The studio said, ‘If you get Timothy Olyphant to play the role of Dominic Toretto, the movie’s greenlit,'” producer Neil H. Mortiz remembered. “We went to Tim and he passed, and we wondered if we were going to get to make it.”