Vin Diesel is incredibly popular for having played the iconic character, Dominic Toretto in the Fast & Furious film series. With over 20 years in the franchise, Diesel’s portrayal of Toretto has become synonymous with the franchise itself. It has helped to make it one of the most successful action film series of all time.
The Fast & Furious franchise revolves around fast cars, high-octane action sequences, and a close-knit crew of street racers. As the series progressed, Toretto evolved from a street racer and small-time criminal to a leader and hero, often putting his own life on the line to protect those he cared about.
While the Fast & Furious films have definitely played a huge role in cementing Vin Diesel as an action film star, he has worked in numerous other successful movies.
XXX, Pitch Black, and more – 5 of Vin Diesel’s most popular films aside from the Fast & Furious series
1) Pitch Black
Pitch Black is a sci-fi action horror film from the house of Universal Pictures. With direction from David Twohy and a story from Ken and Jim Wheat, the film was released in 2000 to mixed feedback from critics. The cast featured Vin Diesel, Cole Hauser, Radha Mitchell, and Keith David in pivotal roles.
Although Pitch Black opened to mixed critical feedback, the film grossed $53 million worldwide, which was well over its budget of $23 million. The sleeper hit even kicked off a franchise of its own, with three more sequels. While two of these released in 2004 and 2013, there is another sequel on its way.
The film follows a group of passengers who are stranded on a desert planet and need to fend off deadly creatures that hunt in the dark to survive. Riddick, a mysterious convict with night vision, becomes their unlikely ally as they fight to survive and escape before the next period of darkness.
Tensions rise and alliances are tested as the group struggles to stay alive. With time running out, the survivors must rely on their wits and Riddick’s expertise to make it out alive.
2) Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American war epic that was a collaboration between DreamWorks, Amblin Entertainment, Mutual Film, and Paramount. Steven Spielberg directed the film with a screenplay from Robert Rodat. The film received critical acclaim for its graphic and realistic portrayal of war and became a landmark movie in modern cinema.
The film had an ensemble cast that featured actors such as Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Edward Burns, Vin Diesel, Tom Sizemore, Giovanni Ribisi, Adam Goldberg, Barry Pepper, and Jeremy Davies. It went on to win five Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, a BAFTA, and numerous other accolades.
Set during World War II, Saving Private Ryan follows a group of American soldiers led by Captain John Miller who are on a mission to find Private James Francis Ryan. He is the last surviving brother of four siblings and the soldiers aim to bring him home safely.
As they navigate war-torn France, the soldiers encounter numerous challenges and obstacles, including hostile German troops and the loss of members of their squad.
XXX is an action spy film from Sony Pictures that made its debut in theaters in 2002. The film is directed by Rob Cohen with a screenplay by Rick Wilkes and is the first film of the XXX film series. The film cast Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Jackson, Asia Argento, and Marton Csokas in pivotal roles. The electric action sequences pulled a lot of audiences and earned the film over $277 million worldwide.
The film follows a rebellious extreme-sports junkie, Xander Cage, who is recruited by the NSA to become a spy and infiltrate a Russian terrorist group called Anarchy 99. The terrorists plan to unleash a deadly biological weapon known on major cities across the world, which Cage must stop.
With the help of NSA agent Gibbons, Cage navigates the dangerous world of espionage and extreme sports, earning the trust of Yorgi and his team. As Cage gets closer to discovering Yorgi’s plans, he realizes the devastating consequences of his mission and must choose between his loyalty to the NSA and his newfound friends.
Bloodshot is a 2020 superhero action offering from the house of Sony Pictures, based on the character of Valiant Comics of the same name. Directed by David S. F. Wilson in his feature directorial debut, the film was set to be the first of a series based on a Valiant Comics cinematic universe. However, Valiant moved to Paramount later on, leaving Bloodshot to be a standalone movie.
Bloodshot cast Vin Diesel in the titular role alongside Guy Pearce, Eiza González, Toby Kebbell, and Sam Heughan in pivotal roles.
The movie follows U.S. Marine Ray Garrison, who is resurrected by a team of scientists using nanotechnology that makes him an unstoppable killing machine. With his memories erased, Ray struggles to piece together his past while being used as a weapon by the organization that created him.
When he learns the truth about his life and death, Ray seeks revenge against those who wronged him and sets out to take down the corrupt organization.
5) The Guardians of the Galaxy series
Many people may not be aware of this, but Vin Diesel has been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for quite some time now. Marvel Studios released Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 in 2014 as a part of Phase Two of MCU and the first installation of the series.
Directed by James Gunn, the film featured an ensemble cast including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel in central roles.
Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel have only lent their voices to the computer-generated characters of Rocket Racoon and Groot respectively. While Rocket Racoon is a nuanced character with a sarcastic personality, Diesel’s sentient tree-like character has a limited vocabulary of “I am Groot”. However, Groot has become a fan favorite and even received its own Marvel short series.
The film series follows the adventures of a group of misfit interstellar heroes who band together to save the galaxy from various threats.
These were some of Vin Diesel’s other popular ventures in the film industry. For fans of the veteran action star, these are some of the must-watch films.
Meanwhile, the Fast & Furious franchise is set to release its 10th installation, Fast X, in theaters on May 19, 2023. Fans can watch Vin Diesel’s penultimate fight for his family on the large screen, as Fast X marks the beginning of the franchise’s conclusion arc.