2 Fast 2 Furious suffered from two devastating absences from the original film: Vin Diesel and Ja Rule. One of those men went on to return to the franchise and all the spoils that came with it. The other had his music career shattered by 50 Cent and spent more than two years in prison. Things could have gone differently, though, as the rapping cookie monster passed on an offer for an expanded role in the sequel to Fast and the Furious. That role eventually ended up going to Ludacris, who's since put together a legitimate acting career and become a star of the blockbuster franchise.
"I just felt it wasn’t the best move for me as far as what I want to do in Hollywood right now," Ja Rule told MTV back in 2002. "I’m really trying to do this acting thing very seriously. And you know, sometimes every move is not the right move."
Fortunately, Grantland wasn't satisfied with this answer. It spoke to 2 Fast 2 Furious director John Singleton to get the true story and find out what could have been for Ja Rule:
"Ja got too big for himself. He turned it down. He turned down a half a million dollars," Singleton said. "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. He was acting like he was too big to be in the sequel. He wouldn’t return calls. I went to the studio to go see him — that’s just my mantra, I deal with a lot of music people. He was kinda playing me to the side and I was like, 'What? What is this shit?' This was all initiated by me. I then made a call. I called Ludacris. I said, 'Hey, Luda, I haven’t met you before, but I like what you’re doing right now.' Luda was all humble, excited to meet me. I said, 'I'm doing this movie and I'm wondering if you want to be a part of it.' He goes, 'What? Yeah! Anything you do I want to be a part of.' That's how Ludacris got in 2 Fast 2 Furious, and the rest is history."
Looks like Ja Rule missed out on much more than Monica.