“Tension has been building up for months,” a source close to the production tells PEOPLE.
Johnson was first to publicly drop hints about the feud with a lengthy Instagram rant calling out “some” of his male costars on Monday. But one set source says the problems began with Diesel’s frustrations over the former wrestling pro’s behavior on set on set.
“Vin has been having problems with The Rock because The Rock keep showing up late for production,” the source explains. “Sometimes he doesn’t show up at all and he’s delaying the production.”
There have also been reports of diva behavior on Diesel’s part, especially during the filming of Fast 7. “Vin spent a whole day in his trailer one day,” a source told The Hollywood Reporter in October. “The next day, they waited four hours for him. He called a meeting [May 28] of studio execs to his trailer for two-and-a-half hours to say, ‘What the f— am I doing here?’ ”
Another source told Page Six that Diesel “was constantly late [when we worked together]. The source added that Diesel “acted like a diva and has held up production before” and that “it’s not surprising that he’s the one The Rock is calling out.”
In his Instagram post, Johnson praised the sequel, its “hard working” crew, Universal Studios and his “amazing” female costars. “My male costars, however, are a different story,” he wrote. “Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t,” Johnson continued. “The ones that don’t are too chicken s— to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses.”
RELATED VIDEO: Vin Diesel Confirms the Release Dates for the 8th, 9th and 10th Fast and Furious Movies
Diesel and Johnson allegedly met Tuesday on the Atlanta set, TMZ reports, to hash out their differences. “I think there were some words said yesterday about this and that’s what started this whole thing online but the tension has been going on for months,” the source notes.
Fast 8 costar Tyrese Gibson came to the Rock’s defense on Tuesday in a since deleted Instagram post, writing, “DJ happens to be one of the most humble, down to earth and professional people I’ve ever worked with.”
But according to the source, Johnson’s tardiness has been an issue for the production, and Diesel, who has been a star in the franchise since the first installment back in 2001, got fed up. “I don’t know what’s going on with The Rock,” says the source. “He is always late and it really has delayed our production. Vin just couldn’t take it anymore.”
On Wednesday, Johnson seemingly addressed the issue in another Instagram post. While the post focussed on a video celebrating the completion of a prison scene, a portion of the post’s caption appears to be an attempt to move forward from the on-set drama.
“You guys reading this know how much I believe in the idea of TEAM EFFORT,” he wrote. “That means respecting every person, their time and their value when they step on to my set or partner with our production company. And like with any team – that’s a family – there’s gonna be conflict.”
He continued, “Family is gonna have differences of opinion and fundamental core beliefs. To me, conflict can be a good thing, when its followed by great resolution. I was raised on healthy conflict and welcome it. And like any family, we get better from it.
“At the end of the day me and #F8 co-stars all agree on the most important thing: Delivering an incredible movie to the world.”
•Reporting by ELISSA ROSEN